8 Rivers Capital, LLC – the company specializing in bringing low-carbon technologies to reality, announced a major milestone in the development of a prominent hydrogen and ammonia production technology. The company announced on Jan 9th it is developing the Cormorant Clean Energy Project – a low-emissions ammonia production facility in Port Arthur, Texas.
The facility will utilize 8 Rivers’ proprietary 8RH2 hydrogen process for the production of ammonia. The large-scale facility is also the first commercial deployment of the 8RH2 hydrogen technology.
The plant is expected is expected to break ground in 2025 with operation starting late 2027. It will be producing an estimated 880,000 metric tons of ammonia and capture more than 1.4 million metric tons of CO2 annually, with a >99% CO2 capture rate.
For the production of ammonia around 156,000 metric tons of hydrogen will be required which is equivalent to the production capacity of about 1.5GW of electrolyzers, as reported by Hydrogen Insight.
The site will also bring in over $1 billion in investment to the region and create more than 1,000 new construction jobs from the period of 2024 to 2027. The company is still evaluating several different options to sequester the CO2 captured by the technology in the process.
“The Cormorant Clean Energy Project is the ideal location to deploy our 8RH2 platform commercially, at scale for the first time… Clean fuels like hydrogen and ammonia are paramount to the energy transition, and the Gulf Coast region’s rich history of industrial manufacturing and transportation makes it the perfect environment to demonstrate the game-changing potential of this technology. We’re grateful to be working with local officials to develop and deploy this project and build a clean energy workforce that will sustain the region’s growth for years to come,” said Steve Milward, Chief Operating Officer at 8 Rivers.
8RH2 technology harnesses pure oxygen and pressurized CO2 to convert natural gas into high-purity hydrogen or ammonia while eliminating carbon emissions and dramatically lowering production costs. As 8 Rivers commented for Hydrogen Insight, the process has an overall gas-to-hydrogen efficiency of more than 80%, compared to 65-75% for steam methane reforming, which is the most common method of hydrogen production.
At Cormorant, the hydrogen produced by 8RH2 will be turned into ammonia that can be used for transportation, industrial processes, agriculture, etc. According to some scientists, even though low-carbon processes for ammonia production provide stronger benefits than emissions-heavy processes that are currently common, burning ammonia as an energy source in the transportation or energy sector can still produce nitrous oxide emissions – a potent greenhouse gas, harmful to the environment and human health.
Long-term exposure to nitrous oxide can cause infertility while breathing it directly causes dizziness, unconsciousness, and even death. For comparison, burning hydrogen for energy releases just water vapour and smaller amounts of nitrogen oxides only when burned directly in the air.