Concept: Canadian growth-stage development company FuelPositive has developed a green ammonia synthesizer system that can produce zero-emissions green ammonia from renewable hydrogen at a lower cost than gray ammonia. The new system is built into a shipping container and is portable. The system can be used for producing green ammonia for use across different industries and applications.
Nature of Disruption: FuelPositive’s system can produce green ammonia from water, air, and electricity. The system is easier to be transported to the location where ammonia is needed. The new synthesizer works by pressurizing and heating hydrogen and nitrogen together in a reactor with a catalyst. Nitrogen is separated from air and hydrogen is produced by a process called ‘steam reforming a hydrocarbon’ (SMR). The synthesizer produces green ammonia along with carbon dioxide as a byproduct. The company claims that the new product can be leveraged for multiple applications including stand-alone fuel generation systems for transportation companies, grid storage systems for renewable electricity generation operations, and agricultural operations. The company claims the new synthesizer can reduce the cost of producing green ammonia by 60% compared to gray ammonia. Electricity cost represents the highest component of the overall cost of the green ammonia produced in the FuelPositive system.
Outlook: Traditional Haber-Bosch method of producing gray ammonia includes combining gray hydrogen with nitrogen from the air. The hydrogen for the process is derived from natural gas or coal with carbon emissions of up to nine to 18 tons for every ton of hydrogen produced. Production of gray ammonia using the Haber-Bosch process contributes to about 1% of the global carbon emission. Haber-Bosch claims that the new green ammonia synthesizer is a zero-emission system that produces hydrogen from renewable hydrogen. Also, the cost of producing green ammonia is ostensibly lower than gray ammonia production. The new system is portable which can bring down the transportation cost of ammonia. Transportation cost contributes to about 50% of the production cost of gray ammonia.