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Fertiliser could be used to power ocean-going ships



Within the decade ocean- going ships could be powered by ammonia, as the shipping industry acts to curb carbon emissions. 

The chemical - the key ingredient of fertilisers - can be burned in ships’ engines in place of polluting diesel.

The industry hopes ammonia will help it tackle climate change, because it burns without CO2 emissions.

However, this challenge is going to be huge because shipping produces around 2% of global emissions. Making ammonia is also a major source of carbon. 

A report by the Royal Society says;

Ammonia production currently creates 1.8% of global CO2 emissions – the most of any chemical industry.

New reports however, suggest that new technology can create zero carbon ammonia.

One way is by trapping the CO2 emissions created when ammonia is produced and burying the CO2 in underground rocks.

Another way of making so-called "green" ammonia is to use renewable energy which doesn't create any CO2.

Climate change: Fertiliser could be used to power ocean-going ships

(Image via: BBCNews)

How soon could ammonia be powering ships?

The engine designer Man Energy Solutions is making a two-stroke ammonia-powered engine it hopes will be ready by 2024.

Peter Kirkeby, the firm’s spokesman, said; 

“We see a very big interest from the market in ammonia as a fuel – even though there are challenges. 

We expect the first ships fuelled with ammonia will be existing tankers that are already transporting ammonia for fertiliser. They know how to handle it.”


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Recent Comments
Replace that windmill in your infographic with a picture of this. We'd get 5.6X more ammonia produced for every £ of capital expenditure and the electricity would not be intermittent, but of the 24/7 variety:
Colin Megson, 20 February 2020
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Fertiliser could be used to power ocean-going ships - Time to read 2 min
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