Skip to main content

Producing ammonia from hydrogen and then subsequently extracting hydrogen from ammonia seems counterintuitive. However, it can be part of a larger strategy for hydrogen storage, transportation, and distribution. This approach is particularly relevant in the context of the growing interest in hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.

Here are a few reasons why this process might be considered:

  • Hydrogen Storage and Transportation: Ammonia is a convenient carrier of hydrogen. Storing and transporting it is easier than pure hydrogen due to its high hydrogen content weight. Hydrogen is often challenging to handle and store due to its low energy density and other logistical issues. Ammonia, on the other hand, is a liquid at room temperature, stored and transported using existing infrastructure.
  • Global Ammonia Infrastructure: The world has a well-established infrastructure for the production, storage, and transportation of ammonia. This is primarily because it is a key component in fertilizer production. Leveraging this existing infrastructure can be more cost-effective and practical than developing an entirely new infrastructure for hydrogen.
  • Decoupling Hydrogen Production and Use: The separation of hydrogen production from its end-use allows for greater flexibility. Hydrogen can be produced where renewable energy resources are abundant and cost-effective, and then transported as ammonia to locations where it is needed for industrial processes, power generation, or fuel cell applications.
  • Clean Hydrogen Production: If the initial hydrogen used in the ammonia synthesis process comes from renewable sources (e.g., electrolysis powered by renewable electricity), the overall process can contribute to producing clean or green hydrogen. This aligns with the goal of transitioning to a low-carbon or carbon-neutral energy system.

While the production of ammonia from hydrogen and then hydrogen from ammonia may involve additional conversion steps, it can be a practical solution for overcoming some of the challenges associated with the storage, transportation, and distribution of hydrogen. Ongoing research and development are focused on improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these processes to support the broader use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.

Ammonia Energy Association

MGR’s Advance Hydrogen