Site items in: Content by Author Kevin Rouwenhorst

Hydro-electric ammonia: project design, engineering & technology selection
Article

To design, build & operate a hydroelectric ammonia production plant fed by electrolytic hydrogen, what considerations need to be taken into account? Our recent episode of Ammonia Project Features explored this question, focusing on an upcoming project being developed in Paraguay by ATOME, URBAS and Casale. The use of surplus hydropower, existing industrial infrastructure, proactive engineering and commercially-available, flexible ammonia synthesis technologies all adds up to a less challenging task for developers, and a potential project template going forward.

Flexible ammonia synthesis: shifting the narrative around hydrogen storage
Article

Flexible ammonia production technology is currently scaling up to meet the challenges of fluctuating electricity feedstock. The ability to ramp down plants to 5 - 10% of their nominal load will minimize the requirement for hydrogen storage buffers and reduce the overall cost of renewable ammonia production. The first demonstration-sized flexible ammonia plants are due to begin operations later this year.

India: a future ammonia energy giant
Article

Although a globally significant ammonia producer, India still relies on ammonia & fertilizer imports to support its agricultural sector. In our recent episode of Ammonia Project Features, we explored the potential of domestically-produced renewable ammonia to both replace these imports and position India as an ammonia energy giant. Excellent solar PV resources, plentiful government support and access to “round-the-clock” renewables were all highlighted as key drivers for India to meet its renewable ammonia potential.

HyEx: ammonia from the Chilean desert
Article

In our latest episode of Ammonia Project Features, Asunción Borras (Engie) and Pablo Wallach (Enaex) presented the HyEx project. Although a historical exporter of nitrogen fertilizers, Chile is now a major importer of ammonia, particularly as a feedstock for manufacturing mining explosives. Solar PV generating potential in Chile’s Atacama desert is among the world’s best, and the HyEx project will leverage this to produce renewable ammonia. By 2030, HyEx could produce enough ammonia to completely replace Enaex’s current ammonia imports, with volume left for exports or other applications.

Coupling solid oxide electrolysis to ammonia production
Article

In our January episode of Ammonia Project Features, we explored the current commercial status of solid oxide electrolysis, and its potential to be integrated with ammonia production. Rick Beuttel (Bloom Energy) and Jakob Krummenacher (LSB industries) also discussed the utilization of the technology in a new decarbonization project at LSB’s ammonia plant in Pryor, Oklahoma.

Technology status: ammonia production from electrolysis-based hydrogen
Article

Electrolysis-based ammonia production peaked worldwide around 1970, before the economies of scale and cheap gas feedstock led to its decline. With decarbonization and climate-neutral industrial processes now a critical priority, electrolysis-based ammonia production has re-emerged as a long-term solution. From a base of 10,000 tonnes per year worldwide production in 2020, as much as 100 million tonnes per year of electrolysis-based ammonia could be produced by the end of this decade, driven by a dramatic roll-out of renewable energy generation and installed electrolyzer capacity.

Renewable ammonia opportunities in Egypt
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For our December episode of Ammonia Project Features, we welcomed Alzbeta Klein (International Fertilizer Association) and Tarek Hosny (Fertiglobe). Our speakers discussed a pathway forward for Egypt’s fertilizer industry to decarbonize, presented the newly-commissioned Egypt Green Hydrogen project, and outlined the unique advantages (and challenges) of developing renewable production projects in Egypt.

Renewable ammonia & fertilizers in Sub-Saharan Africa
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In our December episode of Ammonia Project Features, our three guests focused on renewable ammonia production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Allan Manhanga (Sable Chemicals) took us through the story of renewable ammonia production in Zimbabwe from 1972 to 2015, and what is needed to restart the industry there. Ralph Koekkoek (MET Development) presented a new renewable ammonia & fertilizer project underway in Kenya, with a focus on local farmers and national food security. And Marcel Jacobs (African Hydrogen Partnership) emphasized the important role of organisations in raising awareness & de-risking future projects, particularly through approaches like the proposed East African Green Hydrogen and Fertilizer Corridor.

Gigawatt-scale renewable ammonia in Northwest Africa
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In our November episode of Ammonia Project Features we explored two gigawatt-sized ammonia production projects in Northwest Africa: AMUN (Morocco) and AMAN (Mauritania). Nouri Chahid (CWP Global) presented project details, while Lloyd Pinnell (Systemiq) explored the socio-economic impacts of AMAN in Mauritania. If developed in the right way, AMAN could provide potable water, access to cheap renewable electricity, significant local employment & education opportunities, as well as the opportunity to build institutions to best manage new economic windfalls.

Production technology updates: from mega-scale to distributed ammonia
Article

Recently, KBR launched its Ammonia 10,000 technology for newbuild ammonia plants, tripling the largest available single train capacity to 10,000 metric tonnes per day. In our latest Technology Insights article, we explore the other pieces of the puzzle required for mega-scale ammonia, as well as some updates from the other end of the spectrum, with three distributed, small-scale ammonia synthesis systems under development in North America.