Ammonia is considered a promising fuel for the future due to several key reasons.
Carbon-Free Energy Carrier
Ammonia is an effective carrier of hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced through electrolysis using renewable energy sources. By using ammonia as a means to store and transport hydrogen, renewable energy can be utilized and integrated into existing energy infrastructure.
Renewable Hydrogen Carrier
Ammonia does not contain carbon in its chemical structure. When burned or used in fuel cells, it does not produce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions directly, unlike traditional fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
Ammonia has well-developed production, storage, and transportation infrastructure. The existing ammonia industry, primarily used for fertilizer production, provides a foundation for utilizing ammonia as an energy carrier. This infrastructure can be repurposed or expanded to support the production, distribution, and utilization of ammonia as a fuel.
Scalability and Flexibility
Ammonia can be produced at scale and is compatible with existing combustion and fuel cell technologies. It can be used directly in internal combustion engines or be converted into hydrogen for fuel cell applications. This flexibility allows for the utilization of ammonia in a wide range of sectors, including transportation, power generation, and industrial processes.
Ammonia production relies on widely available resources such as nitrogen and hydrogen. Nitrogen can be sourced from the air, while hydrogen can be produced through various methods, including water electrolysis. This global availability reduces dependence on specific regions or resources and promotes energy security.
Long-Term Energy Storage
Ammonia has the potential to serve as a long-term energy storage solution. It can be stored and transported easily, providing a means to balance energy supply and demand over longer durations, particularly in intermittent renewable energy systems.