Fueling the future: A techno-economic evaluation of e-ammonia for marine applications

Maritime shipping plays a crucial role in the global freight transport system and serves as the primary mode of transport for the worldwide transport of goods. The sector handles more than 80 per cent of global trade in volume and more than 70 per cent in value. Nevertheless, the sector faces a number of challenges, primarily due to increasingly stringent legislation on gaseous air emissions and global warming. Shipping currently accounts for an estimated 3 per cent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and immediate action on decarbonisation is essential to effectively meet various emission reduction targets. Among the wide range of technologies and fuel solutions, e-ammonia (NH3) is seen as a potential marine fuel that could help the sector to decarbonize.

This paper provides information on the characteristics, production and sustainability of using green ammonia as a marine fuel. It also presents a techno-economic assessment for high potential regions for the years 2030 and 2050. To this end, an overview of the current status of the use of alternative fuels/energy sources in shipping is first given in order to compare them with e-ammonia. An overview of the properties of green ammonia as well as a description of production routes, maturity and further developments will also be presented. Sustainability aspects, including an overview of the greenhouse gas balance, air pollution and other impacts, are analysed. Availability aspects, including an overview of potential countries in Europe and worldwide and the link with other sectors of the industry, are also discussed. Most importantly, a detailed cost calculation for the production of green ammonia is developed and a sensitivity analysis is presented to analyse the economic viability of green ammonia in the future.

By: Nesrine Souissi