Companies trying to reduce their climate impacts in the maritime shipping sector are looking to alternative fuels, including methanol and ammonia. However, Amogy’s system could be a better option than an internal combustion engine, as it would limit pollution that can trap heat in the atmosphere and harm human health and the environment.
I will mention here that ammonia itself is not very pleasant to be around, and can actually be toxic. Proponents argue that safety protocols for handling it are fairly well established in the industry, and professionals will be able to safely transport and use the chemical.
Amogy’s systems are still not big enough for ships. The company is working on another demonstration that will help it move closer to a commercial system: a tugboat, which it plans to launch later this year in upstate New York.
Eventually, the company plans to build plug-in modules, making the systems large enough to power ships. Amogy’s first commercial marine system will be deployed at Southern Devall, which transports ammonia on barges in the US today.
Global production of ammonia exceeded 200 million metric tons in 2022, most of which was used for fertilizer. The problem is that the vast majority of it is produced using fossil fuels.
For Amogy’s systems to significantly reduce emissions, they will need to be powered by ammonia that is produced without producing many greenhouse gases, possibly using renewable electricity or perhaps carbon capture systems.
According to Amogy’s estimates, the supply of these low-carbon sources of ammonia could reach 70 million tons by 2030. But those projects will have to move out of the planning stages and actually start producing ammonia before it can be used in fertilizers, tractors or tractors.
- Producing low-carbon ammonia could require a lot of green hydrogen.
A lot of money is being poured into ocean chemistry. A new initiative called Carbon to Sea is injecting $50 million over the next five years into a technique called increasing ocean alkalinity. The basic idea is that adding alkaline substances to seawater could help the oceans suck up more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, combating climate change.