Rush to ammonia ‘presents new problems’ for shipping


Switching to ammonia as a marine fuel can create an entirely new set of problems, warn researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

In a study analysing batteries and three electrofuels, including ammonia, they found eutrophication and acidification are some of the environmental problems that can be traced to the use of ammonia – as well as emissions of laughing gas, a very potent greenhouse gas.

Ammonia (NH3) is a carbon-free fuel and has the advantage of a higher energy density than, for example, hydrogen. It can also be liquefied fairly easily although it is a gas at standard conditions.

However, a significant disadvantage is that the production of electro-ammonia – which requires electricity – is very energy intensive.

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