Woodside joins hydrogen-as-ammonia study

Article by Adam Duckett

WOODSIDE has joined a consortium to study exporting hydrogen as ammonia from Australia to Japan.

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization has approved a feasibility study that will cover the entire hydrogen-as-ammonia value chain to decarbonise power generation in Japan. This will include examining the construction of world-scale ammonia production facilities and the optimisation of supply chain costs.

Woodside will investigate switching production of “blue hydrogen” from steam methane reforming to “green hydrogen” from electrolysis powered by renewables. Hydrogen can be combined with nitrogen to produce ammonia which can then be shipped in liquid form. This helps overcome the costly and energy-intensive storage of lone hydrogen, and the safety concerns around its high flammability. Furthermore, ammonia is already an established traded commodity, with exports worth more than US$5bn in 2017.

“We expect by 2030 to see large-scale hydrogen production around the world and we intend to be part of that,” said Woodside CEO Peter Coleman.

Partners in the consortium include JERA, a Japanese joint venture with partners involved in LNG and power production; and Japanese heavy-industry manufacturer IHI Corporation.

To read more about the potential of the hydrogen economy and the associated engineering challenges, see our series produced in partnership with IChemE’s Clean Energy Special Interest Group. A dedicated article on hydrogen as ammonia is set to be published next month. Read the series here.

Article by Adam Duckett

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