Amogy, which provides emission-free, energy-dense ammonia power solutions, has been telling visitors to Electric & Hybrid Marine Expo more about the latest progress in its plans to unveil an ammonia-powered, zero-emission tugboat later this year. The company claims that launching the first ammonia-powered vessel on the water will signal a huge milestone in the journey to zero-emissions shipping, with ammonia predicted to become the leading fuel source for the world’s giant cargo ships by 2050.
Amogy is currently retrofitting a tugboat built in 1957 that uses diesel generators and electric motors, with its ammonia-to-power system. It will be outfitted with a 1MW version of the system, three times larger than the system field-tested on the company’s ammonia-fueled semi-truck earlier this year. Amogy’s highly efficient ammonia-to-power technology feeds liquid ammonia through its cracking modules integrated into a hybrid fuel cell system, which powers the electric motors for zero-carbon shipping.
“We’ve developed a proprietary technology that uses ammonia as a fuel,” explained Jeremy Mazzilli, VP of commercial at Amogy. “We ‘crack’ the ammonia to extract the hydrogen, so in effect we use ammonia as a hydrogen carrier, which we feed to a [hydrogen] fuel cell. Our cracking is unique – nobody can crack ammonia as we do, in terms of efficiency. First of all, we use almost 100% of the ammonia; and because we crack at a low temperature, we have close to zero emissions. I would say overall that our efficiency is now equal to what you will find on a diesel engine.
“We’ve scaled up very quickly,” continued Mazzilli. “Within two years, we went from 5kW to 100kW to 300kW and now by the end of the year we’ll have a 1MW unit installed on a boat. We are taking pre-orders right now for customers seeking deliveries by the end of 2024, so they can integrate them on ships being delivered in 2025.”
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