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World’s First Ammonia-Powered Truck by Amogy

Here’s an article in News Atlas that talks about the world’ first Ammonia-powered truck unveiled by Amogy.

According to the article,

  • Amogy, a New York-based start-up backed by Amazon’s $2 billion climate fund, has unveiled the world’s first ammonia-powered truck.
  • The truck is retrofitted to crack ammonia into hydrogen on board, which is then used to power the vehicle’s electric drivetrain through a fuel cell.
  • The company has successfully tested the technology on a university campus and is due to conduct full-scale testing of the 300kW retrofitted truck at a test track.
  • Amogy’s ammonia-powered technology has also been tested in a 5kW drone and a 100kW tractor.

Amogy has unveiled what it calls “the world’s first ammonia-powered, zero-emission semi truck,” a significant step forward in clean energy transportation technology. The truck has been adapted from a 2018 Freightliner Cascadia Class 8 truck and includes a comprehensive retrofit to support ammonia as a fuel source. Here are some key aspects of this innovative technology:

  1. Energy Storage and Density: The truck carries approximately 900 kWh of total stored net electric energy, equivalent to the energy storage capacity of the Tesla Semi. Amogy claims that their ammonia-powered system offers five times higher system-level energy densities compared to conventional lithium batteries.
  2. Refueling Time: One of the significant advantages of the ammonia-powered truck is its refueling time. The truck can be refueled in about eight minutes, which is much quicker than the time required to recharge electric trucks such as the Tesla Semi.
  3. Ammonia as a Hydrogen Carrier: Ammonia is touted for its efficiency in storing and transporting hydrogen. It is liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, making it easier to handle than hydrogen, which must be compressed or cryogenically cooled. Ammonia provides nearly three times the energy by volume and more than 20 times by weight compared to lithium batteries.
  4. Conversion and Efficiency: The ammonia is converted back into hydrogen using an onboard ammonia cracker, then fed into a fuel cell to generate electricity. Although there are inefficiencies in this conversion process, the best-case scenario for ammonia cracking efficiency is cited at 76%. With a high-end estimate for PEM fuel cell efficiency at 65%, this results in significant energy reaching the motors, albeit with some loss compared to the initial storage.
  5. Application and Testing: The truck has been tested for several hours on the campus of Stony Brook University and is scheduled for further real-world performance evaluation. This testing aims to validate the truck’s operational capabilities and efficiency in practical scenarios.
  6. Future Prospects and Scaling: Amogy is not stopping at trucks. The company has plans to demonstrate a 1-MW-scale ammonia-powered tugboat later in the year and aims to scale this technology to over 10 MW by 2025, potentially adapting it for use in large container ships on trans-oceanic voyages.

This approach by Amogy indicates a significant shift towards alternative fuel sources in the heavy transport industry, offering a potential solution to the looming lithium resource constraints and contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions in the logistics sector.

Interestingly, we have some other posts related to this content:

World’s First Ammonia-Powered Engine – by Japanese Consortium: Japanese consortium achieves world’s first four-stroke ammonia engine, aiming for commercial vessels with domestically produced ammonia-fueled engines, part of NEDO’s Green Innovation Fund Project.

About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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