What is green ammonia?
Green ammonia is intended to be used in the production of carbon-neutral fertiliser products, decarbonizing the food value chain, and also has potential as a future climate-neutral shipping fuel.
Green ammonia is produced using CO2 free energy sources
Green ammonia production makes use of renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric, solar power or wind turbines.
Unlike “brown” ammonia, which is made using fossil fuels (typically natural gas) as the feedstock, the raw materials for green ammonia are hydrogen obtained through the electrolysis of water, a process powered by renewable energy sources, and nitrogen obtained from the air using an air separation unit. Green ammonia can then be synthesized from nitrogen and hydrogen via various methods, with the Haber-Bosch process currently the only method used on a commercial scale.
Why green ammonia?
Similarly to fossil fuels, ammonia is both a chemical energy carrier and a potential fuel, where energy is released by the breaking of chemical bonds. Crucially, ammonia has the advantage of not releasing any carbon emissions if used as a fuel, and its green credentials can be enhanced even further if sustainable energy is used to power the production of ammonia.
Ammonia is the second-most-widely produced commodity chemical globally, with an annual production volume of over 180 million tons, 20 million tons produced in the EU, and with approximately 20 million tons traded each year. Ammonia is mostly utilized in agriculture, a sector that is under increasing scrutiny due to its environmental impact, with 80% of global ammonia production going into fertiliser and 20% into industrial products.