One of the world’s first commercial-scale green ammonia plants could be online by 2022, according to catalysts, technology, and services industries company Haldor Topsoe.
The 10MW power plant will set in Western Jutland, Denmark, and will produce more than 5,000 tonnes of green ammonia a year from renewable power, abating 8,200 tons of CO2.
The "Power-to-X" process will use 12MW of existing V80-2.0 MW Vestas wind turbines – already operating next to Haldor Topsoe's ammonia plant in Lemvig – and 50MW of new solar panels to power an electrolyser unit. This electrolyser will produce hydrogen that will subsequently be processed into ammonia.
Nitrogen – to add to the hydrogen to produce ammonia (NH3) – will be produced on site from atmospheric air using a pressure swing adsorption (PSA) type nitrogen production unit, Haldor Topsoe explained.
Kim Grøn Knudsen, chief strategy and innovation officer at Haldor Topsoe said: “We have available the technologies we need to begin the transition towards renewable fuels and reduce carbon emissions, and with the innovations in this project, we push the limits for how fluctuating renewable energy is used in direct synthesis of clean fuels.”
Haldor Topsoe is working with Vestas to develop a “dynamic, scalable and cost-optimised solution” to improve the business case for green ammonia as a substitute for fossil fuels.
Green ammonia has been highlighted as a superior green fuel for international shipping, which currently accounts for about 2% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, Haldor Topsoe stated.
And ammonia for fertiliser, produced from fossil fuels, accounts for about 1% of global CO2 emissions.
The ammonia plant will connect to a green hydrogen solution developed by Vestas, to integrate electrolysis with wind and solar into one smart control system.
Kasper Roed Jensen, vice president of Vestas' innovation and concepts unit, said: “This project signals a leap forward for the energy transition and highlights the viability of electrification beyond the power sector, already in the near future.
“With 40 years of experience in developing competitive renewable energy solutions, Vestas is proud to help lay the foundation for scalable Power-to-X production.”
The site will also be connected directly to the national grid so that surplus power can be sold on.
The partnership will jointly invest in the project and has applied for public co-funding.
Jørgen Skovgaard from Skovgaard Invest said: “We expect this to be the first plant out of several in Western Jutland, where both existing and new onshore renewable power projects can deliver cheap renewable energy for Power-to-X applications.
“In Skovgaard Invest, we have the ambition to develop more and larger Power-to-X projects in the region, and we see many potential off-takers, for example within agriculture, the marine industry, and export potential out of nearby industrial harbours.”
When fully operational, the “lighthouse” project will bring proof of concept and experience to future large Power-to-X projects.