Fertiliser could be used to power ocean-going ships

Posted: February 19, 2020 by oldbrew in Emissions, Energy, ideology, propaganda, Travel
Tags: , ,

Bulk carrier

Here comes the latest ‘green’ pipedream that won’t work, as the report almost admits. Another thin excuse to bang the tedious climate change propaganda drum.

Ocean-going ships could be powered by ammonia within the decade as the shipping industry takes action to curb carbon emissions, says BBC News.

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.

The creation of the ammonia itself creates substantial CO2, but a report says technology can solve this problem.

The challenge is huge, because shipping produces around 2% of global carbon emissions – about the same as the whole German economy.

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.

But the authors of the report say 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.

But the big question is whether enough clean energy will be available to create ammonia at scale in the coming decades.

Full report here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Q: What are the hazards of working with Ammonia?

    Safety Precautions for Ammonia:

    CORROSIVE, COMPRESSED GAS. May also be an EXPLOSION HAZARD, especially in confined spaces. Engineering controls, proper training, protective equipment requirements and personal hygiene measures are essential.

    If ammonia is released, immediately put on a suitable respirator and leave the area until the severity of the release is determined. In case of leaks or spills, escape-type respiratory protective equipment should be available in the work area.

    Never work alone with this chemical.
    [etc. etc.]

    (Source: Canadian Centre For Occupational Health And Safety)
    = = =
    1947 – April 16
    Fertilizer explosion kills 581 in Texas

    A giant explosion occurs during the loading of fertilizer onto the freighter Grandcamp at a pier in Texas City, Texas, on this day in 1947. Nearly 600 people lost their lives and thousands were injured when the ship was literally blown to bits.

  2. JB says:

    Oh yes, I’ve been downwind of someone releasing ammonia after filling a tank. Nearly passed out holding my breath while running for all I was worth to get out of the cloud before it ate out my lungs. Needless to say, the popularity of using ammonia as agricultural fertilizer soon disappeared. Corrosive as all get out on iron and synthetic seals.

    The energy density is 1/3 of diesel, so there goes a significant amount of storage space.

  3. Curious George says:

    “But the authors of the report say new technology can create zero carbon ammonia.” By abolishing the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  4. Mack says:

    “Fertiliser could be used to power ocean-going ships”. No, it can’t. Next…

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    And just what does ammonia become when burnt?
    “Nitrogen oxides can be formed as kinetic products in the presence of appropriate catalysts, a reaction of great industrial importance in the production of nitric acid:

    4 NH3 + 5 O2 → 4 NO + 6 H2O
    A subsequent reaction leads to NO2:

    2 NO +O2 → 2 NO2” with water liquid or vapour this becomes nitric acid. Is that really better than CO2.

  6. cognog2 says:

    Just another grant induced bit of rubbish trying to get round the thermodynamic laws.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    Because nitrogen oxide emissions from Diesels are already problematic?
    Because ammonia is expensive to make?
    Because ammonia refrigeration systems (sealed) are difficult enough to work with, so open is worse?

    Punt it to the curb…

  8. hunterson7 says:

    So. A serious grant funded paper on such a dangerous, wasteful and destructive technology.
    This demonstrates that way too much money with far too little controls is available to any cynical ignoramus who can write up a pile of shit and claim the pile of shit solved climate.

  9. stpaulchuck says:

    well, warmists ARE good at spreading fertilizer around

  10. Gamecock says:

    If you get ammonia on you, it will burn.

    “can be burned in ships’ engines in place of polluting diesel”

    SAE experiments, decades ago, showed that anhydrous ammonia can be burned in modified diesel engines.

    – It can be made to work.

    – Fuel consumption is 2.5 times greater. Measured consumption was close to theoretical consumption.

    – If my math is correct, ships’ range would be cut by 60%.

    – As noted, considerable new onboard and dockside safety measures would be required.

    – Should wholesale adoption of ammonia for ship propulsion occur, the bunker crude produced by oil refineries will still exist. It’s not going away. It will still be produced. Burning it in ships is surely the best thing that could possibly be done with it. You will suddenly have to find another way to dispose of it. Turning all of today’s ship fuel into waste.

    – ‘The industry hopes ammonia will help it tackle climate change’

    Harrabin lies easily. Nothing in his article links to the shipping industry. He completely made this assertion up.

    ‘One way of making green ammonia is by using hydrogen from water electrolysis and nitrogen separated from the air.’

    Oh, yeah, nitrogen just falls out of the air.

    Not. It is produced by successive compression and cooling of air. An energy intensive process.

    ‘These are then fed into the Haber process (also known as Haber-Bosch), all powered by sustainable electricity.’

    Cos we have ‘sustainable electricity’ just laying around, waiting to be used.

    ‘In the Haber process, hydrogen and nitrogen are reacted together at high temperatures and pressures to produce ammonia, NH3.’

    High temperatures and pressures also just laying around. No energy needed for that process, either. I guess.

    ‘But the authors of the report say 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.’

    The CCS miracle is still alive!

    How ’bout mixxing the CO2 with the bunker crude you are burying?

  11. Stuart Brown says:

    Gamecock – the most succinct summary of why ammonia is a poor fuel I’ve seen in a while, and with you 97% of the way except for “Burning it in ships is surely the best thing that could possibly be done with {bunker fuel}” Burning it is possible, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t foul polluting stuff that shouldn’t be buried with a stake through its heart!

    Out on a limb, I know, but my view is that anything over 60,000 tons (eg the Sevmorput) should be nuclear – freight or cruise ship. I speak from experience from picking the smuts out of my cocktail while cruising!

    You didn’t mention the nitrogen oxides produced when burning ammonia – you know, the stuff that diesel is demonised for.

    And since I’m here – in other comments- what the heck is the connection between ammonia and exploding fertiliser? That was ammonium nitrate, roughly the same as saying methane is the same as cyanide.

  12. Gamecock says:

    “Out on a limb, I know, but my view is that anything over 60,000 tons (eg the Sevmorput) should be nuclear – freight or cruise ship.”

    You obviously know nothing of ship reactors.

    To minimize refueling requirements, US military nuclear ships use highly enriched uranium. Weapons grade stuff. Russians can do whatever they want. The West is not going to have weapons grade uranium about in commercial craft. Risky beyond comprehension.

    If you forego enrichment, as would be required, refueling becomes a requirement. Ship reactors are not designed for refueling. Adding that requirement drastically changes the design requirements of the reactor. I.e., it makes them useless for commercial shipping.

  13. Saighdear says:

    Yes yes yes, I’m hearing and reading. Ad-Blue anyone?

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