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Topsoe and First Ammonia launch zero-emission ammonia

Topsoe and First Ammonia launch zero-emission ammonia
Topsoe is developing and industrializing solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOEC) for the highly efficient production of hydrogen by electrolysis of water. The company says that its SOEC electrolyzer delivers more than 90% energy efficiency when using green power to produce hydrogen, whereas current alkaline electrolyzers are at 70% (photo courtesy Topsoe).

Denmark-headed Topsoe A/S, a global leader in high-performance catalysts and proprietary technologies for the chemical and refining industries, and US-headed green ammonia project developer First Ammonia, LLC, has signed a 5 GW launch company agreement for the reservation of first-of-a-kind, industrial-scale, solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOEC) to produce green ammonia, for transportation, fertilizer, power generation, and storage.

First Ammonia is developing a global network of dynamic, modular, commercial-scale plants to produce green ammonia from intermittent renewable energy utilizing Topsoe’s solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) technology.

The parties have signed a 5 GW launch company agreement for the reservation of first-of-a-kind, industrial-scale, solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOEC) to produce green ammonia.

We have the utmost confidence in Topsoe and its storied scientists and engineers, which is why we have chosen Topsoe as our partner. With their cutting-edge SOEC electrolyzers and industry-leading ammonia synthesis, we will develop facilities around the world to produce millions of tonnes of green ammonia from water and air, said Joel Moser, CEO of First Ammonia.

The first 500 MW of capacity will be installed in the first plants currently under development at sites in Northern Germany and the Southwestern United States, which are expected to be fully operational in 2025.

We need to accelerate the development and industrialization of sustainable solutions, while also increasing energy independence, which is why we are delighted to partner with First Ammonia on the global development of its green ammonia facilities. With this agreement, we enable the production of millions of tonnes of green ammonia in support of the decarbonization agenda, said Roeland Baan, CEO of Topsoe.

Topsoe’s SOEC manufacturing plant is to be built in Herning, Denmark and has recently received FID from the board.

World’s largest electrolyzer deal

The agreement provides for an initial purchase of 500 MW of SOEC units and is expandable to up to 5 GW over the lifetime of the agreement.

At 5 GW, this is said to be the largest ever electrolyzer reservation of any type. The production of 5 million tonnes of green ammonia per annum would displace almost 5 billion Nm3 (BCM) of natural gas and eliminate 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.

Topsoe is delighted to be working with First Ammonia on these large-scale, commercial green ammonia plants. This agreement leverages Topsoe’s eighty-plus years of world-class ammonia experience and is evidence of the many benefits of SOEC, including lowering project costs as the most efficient electrolyzer technology. This agreement is an enormous step forward towards a more sustainable future and we look forward to working with our friends at First Ammonia in the years ahead, said Sundus Cordelia Ramli, Chief Commercial Officer for Power-to-X at Topsoe,

Versatile usage

Green ammonia has the highest volumetric energy density out of all the hydrogen-based energy sources – much more than pure hydrogen – which makes it cheap and easy to store and transport.

With an existing global ammonia infrastructure, green ammonia can quickly and easily replace hydrocarbon-based fuels for a wide range of use cases, with ammonia-fueled ships already on order and ammonia power stations under development.

By operating dynamically—producing ammonia during off-peak power demand hours—the company will be a net contributor to the economics of renewable power production, providing for the further build-out of additional renewable power wherever it builds a production plant.

Ammonia saved humanity from starvation a century ago as a replacement for depleted sources of fertilizers, in large part due to Topsoe’s excellence. Ammonia can save humanity once again as the workhorse of the hydrogen economy, replacing petrochemicals to decarbonize agriculture, transportation, and power storage and generation, ended Joel Moser.

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