The Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) has united ten partners in the energy and chemical industries in a unique project named 'Power to Ammonia'. As one of the partners, OCI Nitrogen is contributing its knowledge of ammonia, the market, safety and transportation. The project’s goal is to convert energy from renewable sources, such as the wind or the sun, into ammonia. OCI Nitrogen is a major advocate of this initiative, which is entirely in line with the Dutch government’s policy of focusing on the Netherlands’ top economic sectors. Close cooperation between private and public parties is needed to develop new technologies and scale them up so that they will make a positive contribution to tomorrow’s world.
Thanks to the growing number of wind turbines and solar panels, the supply of green electricity will increase sharply over the next few years. At those times when there is a surplus of green electricity, for example in sunny summer weather, it can be converted to ammonia locally using small-scale plants. This sustainably produced ammonia can then be used for a variety of purposes.
No carbon emissions
Existing technology can be used to produce ammonia by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of electricity, and then using high pressure to convert the hydrogen along with nitrogen from the air into ammonia. Ammonia has several advantages: it can be stored in large tanks as a liquid, has a high energy density, and burns cleanly.
Energy company Nuon has now announced that it wants to convert its gas-fired Magnum power plant in Eemshaven to run on ammonia. The aim is to have the power plant using green ammonia as fuel in ten years’ time. When burned, ammonia produces nitrogen and water, but no carbon dioxide.
“This project will help make this electrification technology more efficient as well as take it to a larger scale. Ultimately, that will contribute to the greening of energy-intensive industry,” says Ruud Swarts, OCI’s Technology Manager for Sustainability and Energy Efficiency. “We will share our knowledge of ammonia, the technology, the market, safety and transportation. And once ammonia is being produced locally, we’ll contribute to business cases and logistical solutions.”
The project is a partnership between ISPT, Stedin Infradiensten, Nuon, ECN, Delft University of Technology, University of Twente, Proton Ventures, OCI Nitrogen, CE Delft and AkzoNobel.