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People need food and energy and it must be CO2 free – that’s where green ammonia comes in. 180 million tonnes of ammonia were produced in 2015. Mainly in use for fertilisers, growing demand for food means that ammonia production needs to increase by 3% each year.
Ammonia is made using the Haber-Bosch process, converting hydrogen and nitrogen using high temperature and a catalyst. Ammonia production therefore relys on fossil fuels such as natural gas. Together with the fossil hydrogen feedstock, current ammonia production accounts for 1.6% of global CO2 emissions.
How can we reduce CO2 emissions but still meet the need for ammonia? By switching to renewable electricity to make ammonia we could save over 40 million tons of CO2 each year in Europe alone, or over 360 million tons worldwide. This switch would enable load balancing for electricity grids and allow the use of 'green' ammonia to fertilise crops or to burn and generate electricity when the wind is not blowing.
Become an expert on 'green' ammonia by downloading our infographic:
"Green" ammonia demonstration programme:
Siemens is participating in an all electric ammonia synthesis and energy storage system demonstration programme at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, near Oxford. The demonstrator, which will run until December 2017, is supported by Innovate UK. Collaborators include the University of Oxford, Cardiff University and the Science & Technology Facilities Council.