With governments and companies creating strategies to reach net-zero emission by 2050, and some much earlier, the decarbonization of the energy supply has become crucial. The performance and capacity of renewable energy sources increase - and energy sources wind and solar are being pushed & developed exponentially.
When these sources cannot keep up with the expected demand and when the capacity & production of the current renewable sources begin to experience difficulties in selling their offtake, i.e. insufficient immediate consumption, solutions need to be developed. Greenfield alternatives need to be developed and built to cover the capacity demand and to store or convert overproduction into another energy form.
Hydrogen & Ammonia and Battery Storage are now the hottest technologies being discussed and implemented as key aspects within governmental decarbonization strategies. Other technologies using various salts and chemicals are being investigated and tested for consumption suitability and economic viability.
Projects such as energy islands which were initially met with scepticism are now being actively bid for by large energy organisations. Initiatives are already in place with projects approved in Germany, Holland and Denmark. Many soon to follow.
Hydrogen can be produced in a number of ways. Grey hydrogen is produced from the steam in natural gas, blue hydrogen is produced through carbon capture and storage and the green hydrogen is primarily produced from renewable electricity, powering an electrolysis process of sea water.
Ammonia is produced by a synthesis, by catalytically reacting and thereby combining molecules of nitrogen(N2) and hydrogen(H2) to produce NH3. A process referred to as the Haber-Bosch process.
The advantages and disadvantages of using either hydrogen or ammonia as fuels in aviation, land & maritime vehicles(vessels) are heavily debated with reference to efficiency, usage of existing infrastructure, calorific values, storage & transport conditions, proximity between production and consumption sites. Many initiatives are in place to investigate how existing oil & gas infrastructure can be used to transport and distribute these new fuels. Studies show also potential in using existing oil & gas rigs to farm hydrogen, while others try to investigate how existing conventional power plants, ships and large land vehicles can be slightly modified to consume these new fuels.