Bureau Veritas launches renewable ammonia certification scheme

Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) has set up a renewable ammonia scheme, expected to assure safe, sustainable ammonia production from renewable energy.

Illustration only; Archive; Courtesy of NYK

Ammonia has been produced and used for decades, but currently, natural gas is used as the main source in its production. According to BV, using renewable energy sources to generate hydrogen through water electrolysis and convert it to ammonia with nitrogen taken from the air, offers a sustainable and low-carbon alternative to traditional ammonia production.

BV noted that many renewable hydrogen developers anticipate the conversion of hydrogen into ammonia for a variety of uses beyond the traditional ways of utilizing ammonia. For example, it can be used as an energy vector (then cracked back to hydrogen), as a low-carbon fuel for ships or as a co-fired fuel for power generation.

However, this expanded use of hydrogen for conversion to ammonia elicits a need to provide transparency around the way ammonia is produced, BV pointed out, adding that the aim of its certification scheme is to contribute to hydrogen energy development and international trade by shaping trust.

The classification society said a prerequisite for the renewable ammonia certificate is the successful completion of its renewable hydrogen certification scheme, citing safety, sustainability and renewable input as mandatory criteria for both the hydrogen and the ammonia scheme. Additionally, the carbon intensity for the ammonia must be demonstrated and proven to be below 0.5 kg CO2eq/kg, BV noted.

Laurence Boisramé, Global Director, Hydrogen at BV, commented: “Continuing our strategy to drive innovation and customer centricity in the energy transition, we are proud to release our certification scheme dedicated to renewable ammonia. This scheme is developed to provide a comprehensive assessment of plants producing ammonia with renewable hydrogen feedstock. It covers carbon footprint and other environmental impacts from a life cycle assessment perspective, incorporating safety and ESG aspects.”