The French group has announced the construction of an industrial-scale ammonia (NH3) cracking pilot unit in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. It will optimise conversion and reduce the carbon footprint.
To “crack” the ammonia molecule (which contains nitrogen and hydrogen), a catalyst must be used. Air Liquide is putting forward an exclusive technology for integrating the heat from new generation reactor tubes. It provides the highest possible conversion efficiency of ammonia to hydrogen, without direct CO2 emissions.
This innovative pilot unit, which combines a new efficient process with Air Liquide’s proprietary technologies, is expected to be operational in 2024. The Flemish government, through VLAIO (Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), has confirmed financial support for the project.
When in the form of ammonia, a stable molecule, hydrogen can be easily transported over long distances. A global supply chain already exists for its production, transport and large-scale use in various industries. This represents a significant asset for regions having abundant renewable energy resources since they can export ammonia around the world to end-users who can then convert it back into hydrogen locally and doing so, contributing to the decarbonisation of industry and mobility.
Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King