CF Industries, the world’s biggest ammonia producer, has joined the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, which is the leading clean-fuel technology consortium in the industry.
On Monday the center announced that the U.S. ammonia producer has signed on as a partner in the consortium. As the shipping industry is working towards zero-carbon propulsion at a large scale, the supply of clean hydrogen-based fuels such as ammonia and green methanol is proving to be one of the main challenges.
CF Industries, which has for decades produced and traded ammonia from regular natural gas feedstock, plans to bring production of about two million tones of blue ammonia online by 2024. The manufacturer recently partnered with Mitsui for a blue ammonia plant in the U.S. Gulf Coast which is set to emit nearly 60% less CO2 per tonne of production.
CF Industries is also building an electrolyzer plant for green ammonia production at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, where they have a big factory complex. The company will work with Thyssenkrupp to install 20 MWs of hydrogen electrolysis capacity to feed its output into their ammonia synthesis plant.
Together with clean electricity purchases to cover its energy requirements entirely, the electrolyzer will allow for the production of 20,000 tons of green ammonia annually. CF announced this will be the first commercial-scale green ammonia plant in North America.
Vessel propulsion is among the many possible uses of reduced-carbon ammonia. The commodity can produce power through burning in a modified diesel engine or by being fed into a solid-oxide fuel cell. It has comparably high energy density and low storage costs.
“We believe ammonia has an important role to play in the world’s transition to clean energy and is a particularly promising approach for the maritime industry,” said Tony Will, the president and CEO of CF Industries. “We look forward to sharing our expertise with the Center and working together to develop the roadmap to decarbonize maritime shipping.”