Green Ammonia - A Climate-Friendly Fuel and Fertilizer

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Keskiviikko 12.6.2024 klo 19.05 - Mikko Nikinmaa

Out of the world’s carbon dioxide footprint 3 % is due to shipping. The use of diesel oil can be discontinued when motors with green ammonia as a fuel are taken into use. One can estimate that such motors make up the majority of ship motors by 2050. When ammonia is produced using renewable energy sources, the carbon dioxide footprint becomes virtually zero. The ammonia-fuelled motors need to have catalytic converters so that no N2O, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, is emitted. With catalytic converters the end products of ammonia as a fuel are nitrogen and water.  Although ammonia as a fuel is likely to be more expensive than diesel oil for a short transition period, the position as a front runner will soon favour ammonia-based shipping. Further, the companies making ammonia-fuelled motors, have significant competitive advantage.

Currently, 80 % of global ammonia use is in fertilizers. Mostly the fertilizer production uses minerals and fossil fuels in production. However, also in this case green ammonia could phase out the current ammonia fertilizers completely. In addition to being sustainable and climate-friendly, the production of green ammonia for fertilizer would diminish the dependence on Russian fertilizer import.

Ammonia-fuelled motors for ships and green ammonia for fertilizers are examples of how climate actions can be of a significant economic advantage to societies which start producing them first. It is important not to think of today’s expenses but of tomorrow’s profits. And for all climate and nature actions, the expenses are smaller, if things ore done today than if they are delayed.

Avainsanat: climate change, shipping, agriculture

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