- can be produced sustainably from “green” hydrogen
- can be applied in both ICE and fuel cells
- does not contain any carbon elements
- is built from the natural and abundantly available elements Nitrogen and Hydrogen
- is less flammable than other fuels
- has a highly alerting odor
- does not emit any pollutants when applied in SOFC (also no NOx)
- has lower volumetric density than carbon-based fuels
- is toxic and hygroscopic causing damages to eyes and lungs
- emits NOx in an Internal Combustion Engine
- requires to be ”cracked” into hydrogen to be applied in PEM-FC
- has to be mixed with highly flammable liquids if applied in ICE
- is highly dissolvable in water causing fatal problems in aquatic organisms due to its toxicity
Ammonia consists of nitrogen and hydrogen. When produced from “brown” hydrogen and nitrogen via the so-called ‘Haber Bosch’ process, it causes a lot of pollution. At standard room temperature ammonia is a gas but when compressed it becomes a transportable liquid. Ammonia is a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceutical, cleaning products and refrigerants and is commonly used as a fertilizer. When used as a fuel, NOx are emitted but these can easily be treated with a catalyst and as such make ammonia a zero-emission fuel. Health and Safety measures need to be taken but can ensure its safe and effective application as a maritime fuel. Its chemical composition of three hydrogen atoms makes it an excellent hydrogen carrier and alternative fuel. Thanks to the long-standing fertilizer industry, safe working practices are well established
Will play a major role in the transition from fossil fuels and will contribute into a cleaner and more s Ammonia can play a major role in the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable maritime world at an affordable cost, however its toxicity behavior makes it more suitable for large scale and ocean going routes, than on e.g. inland routes. The most likely first large scale application could be an ammonia-tanker vessel fueled by it’s own cargo.
* Video by Science AAAS – a scientific magazine from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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