While hydrogen is the most abundant chemical on the planet, it does not exist in its pure elemental form. Therefore, it must be extracted from hydrogen “carriers”. Many fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas, are hydrogen carriers, acting as a medium for hydrogen to be transported around the world.
However, when hydrogen is extracted from fossil fuels, the carbon leftover combines with oxygen and forms carbon dioxide, a critical greenhouse gas.
Other major barriers to widespread utilization of hydrogen are the ability to move and store it prior to its end use applications.
Hydrogen as a fuel is limited due to handling and storage problems related to both safety and cost.
Ammonia is a carbon-free hydrogen carrier. There are no carbon emissions created when hydrogen is extracted from ammonia.
Not only is ammonia a viable carbon-free fuel, it has a greater energy density than hydrogen. Ammonia is also considerably easier, cheaper, and safer to transport than hydrogen. It only requires only slight pressure at ambient temperature to liquify, whereas hydrogen requires extreme pressures or cryogenic conditions.
Just as oil was a hydrogen carrier used to transport energy from fossil-fuel rich countries to other regions of the world, green ammonia will be hydrogen carrier for transporting renewable energy.
At the end of the trip, the hydrogen can be extracted from the ammonia in a dissociation process called “cracking.”
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