Friday, February 26, 2021

Ammonia As The Fuel Of The Future -- February 26, 2021

RBN Energy has talked about hydrogen and ammonia as energy/fuel options, and recently a reader has been sending me items regarding ammonia.

Interestingly enough, there's a fairly recent article on ammonia asking whether ammonia is the fuel of the future.

Link here, from the American Chemical Society, February 19, 2021. Hard to get much more current than that.


From the linked article:

Chemical companies smell an opportunity. Several firms are developing green ammonia, a route to ammonia in which hydrogen derived from water electrolysis powered by alternative energy replaces hydrocarbon-based hydrogen, making ammonia production virtually carbon dioxide–free. They are also investing in carbon capture and storage to minimize the carbon impact of making conventional ammonia, creating what the industry refers to as blue ammonia.

Tony Will, CEO of the world’s largest ammonia producer, CF Industries, sees a fundamental shift in the industry’s prospects. “Up to this point, we have made a business by selling the nitrogen value of the molecule,” he says. “What’s really exciting about this is now there is an opportunity and a market that values the hydrogen portion of the molecule.”

But establishing an ammonia fuel industry won’t be easy. By most estimates, green ammonia will cost two to four times as much to make as conventional ammonia. And some of the technologies needed to harness the molecule, such as ammonia-burning engines, are still experimental. Governments and the marketplace will have to decide if green ammonia is worth the effort.

Nature has given ammonia attributes that seem to make it a perfect commodity for a future hydrogen economy.

The bottom line for me: we will never run out of energy. Period. Dot.

It's just a matter of how much we want to spend on it.


  1. Talk about industrial strength stupid, a nasty chemical to deal with. One breath of concentrated ammonia vapors you are dead or seriously disabled

    Not you Bruce Will with my stupid comment, Tony Will

    1. I don't foresee ammonia being used by the massed but possibly in niche, industrial applications, like space travel.

  2. Electrolysizing water for hydrogen is insanely expensive.

    1. Yes, I know -- we've talked about it on the blog. What amazes me is that I inferred from RBN Energy that the editors thought it was actually economical. It seems everyone is searching for a solution for a problme that does not exist.

  3. Just no easy low cost answer to carbon free energy.
    I thing there should be more research into plant based fuels. Take the oil out of soybeans, leftovers for food for man and animals. Corn will provide oil, then starch for ethanol. Turn the stalks into butanol, a direct substitute for gasoline