Anhydrous ammonia is currently the second most used chemical in the world (sulfuric acid for industrial use is the first).

It is used in almost all developed countries in the world as fertilizer and in most nations in the world as a refrigerant instead of Freon.  Today’s price of $500-600 / ton makes it too expensive as a competitive fuel relative to oil-based fuels but only until the price of a barrel of oil rises the next time. And there are developments under way to manufacture ammonia without its current penalty of producing 2 tons of CO2 for every ton of NH3 and at costs that are a fraction of what it is today.  Given these scenarios of either dramatically higher oil prices or dramatically lower NH3 production costs, NH3 becomes a viable economically competitive fuel.  Making NH3 even more attractive as an alternative fuel are the potential impacts of carbon taxes from cap and trade legislation and looming EPA regulations. Anhydrous ammonia, which can be kept liquid at room temperature under modest pressure, has more hydrogen in it than the same volume of pure liquid hydrogen. There is also an extensive NH3 pipeline infrastructure in the US due to its heavy use in agriculture as a fertilizer making it more readily available to consumers.  Safe handling has also been addressed and there are standard procedures in place nationwide. Since ammonia-for-fuel production currently lies outside of the 1992 ‘Act’ guidelines, it is difficult to establish any noteworthy growth trends / milestones. However, a multitude of studies have been conducted to reach many positive, future-driven conclusions regarding the significant emission reductions that can be achieved by switching to ammonia fuel, even more so when the ammonia is produced from renewable resources.

The DyneGen NH3 Solution

Currently in field testing is a standard 460 cubic inch engine block modified to use new technology injectors, controls,  and a bi-fuel delivery system to allow it to burn natural gas first and then switch over to anhydrous ammonia (NH3). This engine will demonstrate the technical feasibility of building a 9.4 L engine with these new technologies that delivers improved engine efficiency and reduced emissions.  

 

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