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The Problem and Promise of Ammonia

Fuel For A Mindful World

Uses of Traditional Ammonia

More than 80% of the traditional ammonia produced today is used in agriculture – much of it as fertilizer. One part nitrogen and three parts hydrogen, ammonia (NH3) started being used a century ago to avoid a global food crisis, making it possible to easily and affordably fertilize crops with nitrogen.

Ammonia is also used in:

Market Size

Traditional ammonia has been used as a chemical for over 100 years and today over 200 million tonnes of ammonia are manufactured and consumed worldwide. There is a huge infrastructure that has been built up over the years to store and transport it safely, effectively and efficiently. 

The traditional ammonia market has been a commodity-type market with compound annual growth rates of about 5% per year.

A number of recent projections about the market size for carbon-free NH3 suggest compound annual growth rates over the next decade over 50% because of its potential as a chemical, fertilizer and fuel, as well as for energy production and grid storage.

Ammonia and Pollution

Traditional ammonia is produced in massive refineries around the world, using energy-intensive methods that contribute heavily to carbon emissions. It is one of the most carbon-intense chemical manufacturing processes on the planet today. 

Because of the pollution caused by manufacturing traditional ammonia, the search is on to identify an economical way to produce green ammonia. So far, attempts at green production have been too expensive to be practical – at two to four times more expensive than traditional production.