The Investment Case for Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis Technologies

This website will remain a project tracker for ammonia capacity expansions.

However, it will also begin reporting on – and agitating for – the development and deployment of new, sustainable ammonia synthesis technologies.

I will feature projects from my (extensive) database of pre- and post-commercialization ammonia synthesis technologies, and demonstrate the commercial benefits of moving this mature industry beyond the acceptance of the technical limits of Haber-Bosch.

To start with, I’m presenting a conference paper next week to introduce “The Investment Case for Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis Technologies.” My paper will be available online after the conference, and my abstract follows below.

You’re welcome to check out next week’s NH3 Fuel Conference, which is hosted by UCLA, in Los Angeles, on Monday 9/19 and Tuesday 9/20.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the notion of NH3 Fuel – the use of ammonia as an energy vector, for energy storage, as an efficient hydrogen carrier, or as a chemical or combustion fuel – or the rate at which ammonia energy projects are now being developed and demonstrated across the globe (and thus the potential market impact), should browse the list of papers and presenters at the 2016 conference, our 13th annual.

This year’s NH3 Fuel Conference features a keynote speech from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E, which began funding carbon-free ammonia synthesis projects this year; as well as research and demonstration projects taking place in eleven countries across five continents. It includes significant contributions from some major companies, including IHI Corporation, Siemens, Mitsui Chemical, Toyota Industries, among many others.

This is my abstract:

The Investment Case for Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis Technologies
For 100 years, we have made ammonia with the Haber-Bosch process, almost always using a fossil fuel feedstock. Recently, though, government policy, academic innovation, commercial opportunity, and human morality have combined to spur the development of new, “green” ammonia manufacturing processes: sustainable, low-carbon technologies.

These new synthesis methods augur a future in which, instead of the single, over-riding drive toward the economies of scale associated with Haber-Bosch, an array of different feedstocks, uses, and business models will support a multiplicity of competing technologies serving multiple markets.

This presentation aims to introduce the factors affecting the appetite for commercialization and adoption of different ammonia synthesis technologies (nascent and mature), to differentiate between the various technological pathways, and to illustrate their respective advantages and market applications.
Trevor Brown, NH3 Fuel Conference, September 20, 2016

I’ll be building on this first paper to develop a full Investment Case, and I’d welcome any constructive feedback or collaborative interest.

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