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The Hydrogen Economy

FUEL FOR A MINDFUL WORLD

Carbon-Free Ammonia: The Enabler

The ammonia industry began a century ago as a solution to a global food crisis. One part nitrogen and three parts hydrogen, traditional ammonia was used as a fertilizer, re-introducing necessary nitrogen to nitrogen-depleted fields for growing crops. While it continues to serve as a vital fertilizer, green ammonia is now being considered a key factor in our fight against climate change. Instead of the nitrogen portion of the molecule being prized as it was in the past, it is now green ammonia’s ability to capture, store and ship hydrogen that is exciting – making the hydrogen economy possible in the near future.

The Problem with Hydrogen

Globally, the hydrogen economy has become a goal. The idea is to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen which produces no carbon emissions when used as fuel.

Manufacturing

The problems begin with its production. Hydrogen doesn’t exist on Earth in its pure form. It needs to be produced, using electricity. Today, roughly 95% of hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels in an emissions-intensive process, with each kilogram of hydrogen resulting in 10 kilograms of carbon being emitted. There is a great deal of interest in producing it using sustainable electricity, but the requirement for intensive energy to produce pure hydrogen remains – and there are two additional problems – storing and transporting it.

Storage

Pure hydrogen is highly volatile and must be stored safely, but storing it is challenging. As a gas, it requires cryogenic storage and extreme pressure storage vessels to keep the hydrogen intact. As a liquid, it boils off at normal temperatures. For example, a hypothetical car with full liquid hydrogen tanks sitting in your garage on Friday, would have empty tanks on Monday morning because of normal temperature boil off.

Distribution

Transporting hydrogen, which is highly volatile, is equally challenging. Because it is the smallest molecule, hydrogen works its way between the crystalline structure of metals, making them brittle, resulting in cracking and failure. There is no distribution infrastructure in place now that could handle hydrogen. We can imagine it, but in actuality, the hydrogen economy is many years away and may never be practical.

Problem Solved with Carbon-Free NH3

FuelPositive’s carbon-free ammonia (NH3), produced using our commercial systems, presents an almost immediate solution to the problems associated with pure hydrogen.

Manufacturing

Using our production system, our carbon-free NH3 requires 30% less energy than conventional ammonia to produce, with no carbon emissions. In fact, not only does the production of our carbon-free NH3 require much less energy than producing hydrogen on its own, but it stores 65% more hydrogen than highly compressed pure hydrogen.

Storage

Our carbon-free NH3 can be stored at normal temperatures without extreme compression.

Distribution

Our carbon-free NH3 can be transported safely and efficiently using the existing ammonia infrastructure. Or it can be produced on site, using our portable production system, eliminating the need for distribution.
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