Ammonia cracker method feasible for large-scale H2 imports, study says

A study, made by Fluor and commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and 17 other companies, has shown that it is technically and economically feasible to safely convert ammonia into 1 million tons of hydrogen (H2) per year using a large-scale cracker.

Courtesy of Port of Rotterdam

The Rotterdam port informed that the study provides an inventory of available, proven technologies for converting (imported) ammonia into hydrogen, addresses the safety, space requirements, costs, logistical implications and expected emissions of a large-scale ammonia cracker and compares the use of one central cracker and storage location to setting up multiple, decentralized crackers or storage points.

It said the analysis shows that there are several proven techniques available that can be used on a large scale, adding that an ammonia cracker also fits within the safety contours of the port and that the industrial cluster in Rotterdam has the necessary experience and knowledge for the safe storage and transport of ammonia.

According to the port, Fluor expects that a central large-scale cracker will result in lower costs than a decentralized approach, due to economies of scale and more efficient storage and transport of the hydrogen.

An ammonia cracker emits no greenhouse gases and only minimal amounts of nitrogen oxides, and moreover, the use of hydrogen in industry and transport results in large net reductions in emissions of CO2 and nitrogen oxides, the port claimed, noting that 1 million ton of green hydrogen can help reduce CO2 emissions with about 10 million ton.

To remind, the initiative commenced the ammonia cracker method study back in 2022. Some of the participants are energy majors Shell, BP and ExxonMobil.

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