Ammonia production platform
Project 2W2NH3® (Wind & Water to Ammonia)
gNH3 may become dominant in new installations after 2025. In the long term, gNH3 can be the commodity of choice for transporting renewable energy between continents due to its flexibility of application with its main advantages:
More convenient energy storage and transport
Ammonia is even easier to store and transport than Green Hydrogen.
Propulsion of vehicles without CO2 emissions
Ammonia is a very promising fuel for future ships, gas turbines and CO2-free thermal engines.
The basis for chemicals and fertilisers
Ammonia is widely used in fertilizers and cleaning products.
Grid support for electrical energy
The difference between the production and consumption of electrical energy in the grid (stability criterion) is reduced by temporarily activating the NH3 burning turbines, thus ensuring a high base load.
Some information about Ammonia
- IRENA estimates that half of the hydrogen trade in 2050 will be in the form of ammonia.
- Hydrogen and ammonia can reduce the share of fossil fuels to less than 20% of total energy compared to 80% today.
- Ammonia remains liquid below ‑33°C and does not require special precautions for safety (except for toxicity management) and against corrosion (embrittlement).
- NH3 management infrastructure exists in 120 ports around the world.
GHyGA’s 2W2NH3® Ammonia production platform includes the following equipment and processes:
- A renovated and adapted “semi-submersible” type platform (“innovative upcycling”).
- A wind turbine with a capacity of 7 to 9 MW.
- 32 Archimedean screws* with a capacity of 8 MW or 96 hydro turbines** with a capacity of 6.7 MW.
- 5 MWh intermediate storage batteries.
- 12 MW electrolyser.
- A seawater desalination unit.
- One unit of nitrogen.
- A Syngas compressor.
- An Ammonia convertor.
- A thermal energy recovery unit.
- Storage and transport tanks.
On a fossil fuel basis, NH3 currently costs €290/t for a global quantity of 183 million tonnes per year. Renewable energies and the advancement of electrolyser and catalyst technologies to generate Ammonia, can lower the production costs of gNH3 from 720 €/t in 2022 to 310–600 €/t in 2050. The 2W2NH3 project® is calibrated to produce gNH3 at around 480 €/t in 2030.
To become competitive, progress must be made on the following issues:
Increase the carbon tax to €150/t CO2
Investing in the development and production of electrolysers
Financial support for “prototype” factories
Upcycling of decommissioned offshore platforms
An “upcycled” ammonia production platform
- The “semi-submersible” platform is a takeover of an existing renovated platform that is perfect for installing all the necessary equipment. Also practical for optimising short distance interconnected processes.
- The floating platform is attached to the seabed by several cables.
- This platform is equipped with new structures on its 4 sides, which carry 32 Archimedean screws* with a power of 8 MW (alternatively 96 tidal turbines** with a power of 6.7 MW). These 8 support structures are mobile and allow to put the tidal turbines (screws or turbines) in operational position or to lift them in position for repair and maintenance.
- In the centre of the platform is a 9 MW wind turbine.
- Both sources of energy help to smooth out the variations in amplitude created by winds and ocean currents.
- The Green Ammonia production chain is complemented by storage in tanks pessurised at 15 bars for transport to shore by shuttle.
- Operational control is performed remotely. The operational team on the platform is reduced to 2–3 people.
KAPSOM in China is pursuing NH3 production by “Chlorine gasification”, a state-of-the-art technology to reduce the temperature and pressure of Haber-Bosch processes, resulting in increased efficiency.
By 2050, three quarters of the ammonia used will be produced on the basis of renewable energy. The market will follow as emission-free NH3 production prices will drop from $720/ton in 2020 to $310–600/ton in 2050 depending on the technologies used. A carbon tax of $150/ton CO2 will lead to a decarbonised NH3 price of $350/ton NH3.
Ammonia production from the platform
5000 tonnes NH3
17 MW of electrical energy installed to produce 5000 tonnes of green NH3 per year.
Synthesis and technology
The electrolytic synthesis of ammonia
The electrolytic synthesis of ammonia uses the following alternative technologies:
- The liquid electrolyte.
- Melted salt.
- Composite membranes.
- The “solid state” process.
GHyGA selects the optimal technology for the 2W2H2® and 2W2NH3® projects through a detailed analysis of the integrated process chain on the upcycled offshore platform.
The different electrolysis technologies
The various electrolysis technologies are evolving rapidly.
Among the dominant industrialised products in 2022:
- Alkaline (ALK) technology, the most robust and mature, notably developed by MCPHY in France.
- The Protons Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology, very promising but still “delicate”.
Among the disruptive technologies are those developed in Estonia by STARGATE with the Stardust process. In France by GEN-HY Anions Exchange Membrane (AEM), which combines the advantages of ALK and PEM technologies. These technologies are very modular, but not yet mature.
GHyGA will choose its technology according to the following criteria:
- Availability and production potential.
- Energy efficiency.
- Lower costs in CAPEX and OPEX.
For more information about GhyGA, contact us:
1800 route des Eymards
26260 Margès ‐ France