Ammonia: the accelerator of the energy transition

Hydrogen production from ammonia

The project

Escher Process Modules – part of Iv – has developed an innovative technology for the decentralised production of green hydrogen from ammonia. Ammonia functions as an excellent carrier for hydrogen. The advantage of this decentralised form of hydrogen production is that it is produced closer to the user, e.g., inland navigation, transport companies or fueling stations. Escher’s technology converts ammonia into nitrogen and hydrogen. These two gases are separated to produce hydrogen. This hydrogen is 99.999% pure, making it suitable for use as a fuel. By using membrane technology instead of electrolysis, the production process becomes more energy efficient.

The challenge

There is an urgent need to scale up the production of green hydrogen as a sustainable alternative to grey and blue hydrogen, which will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Hydrogen can be produced in many places around the world but getting it to where it needs to be is quite complex. A lot of energy is lost in transporting hydrogen to where it can be used as a (green) alternative to fossil fuels.

 

Green hydrogen projects are already being developed in centralised locations where heavy industry can use it directly. However, to make a significant difference in the energy transition, it is essential that small and medium-sized users also have access to green hydrogen in the short term. At present, this can only be accomplished by transporting hydrogen as a compressed gas. However, this method is very inefficient and requires many transport movements.

The impact

Our energy needs are constantly growing, and if we want to move entirely away from fossil fuels in the future, the wind and solar energy produced in the Netherlands alone will not be sufficient, which is why we are exploring beyond our borders. With the technology developed by Escher, the energy needed to make hydrogen will be produced abroad using solar energy, which will then be converted into ammonia. In the Netherlands, only a fraction of this energy is required to convert the ammonia back into hydrogen. Our technology separates the ammonia back into hydrogen and nitrogen. 80% of this nitrogen is already in the atmosphere, so its ’emission’ is zero. The production is entirely green. Moreover, the hydrogen produced is 99.999% pure, making it a suitable fuel for fuel cells.

Curious about the possibilities for your project?

Martijn, managing director of Escher,  would be delighted to discuss this with you! Get in touch via  +31 88 943 3600 or send a message.

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Martijn