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Casale to participate in US green ammonia pilot project

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World Fertilizer,

Casale, as a member of a team that comprises RTI International, the University of Minnesota, Nutrien, GE, Shell, Nel Hydrogen, Xcel Energy, Great River Energy, Ottertail Power, Chemtonergy, Texas Tech University, Pacifica and Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), will participate in a project that is working towards realising a 1 tpd green ammonia pilot plant, comprising water electrolysis, ammonia synthesis and ammonia separation and utilisation.

RTI International will lead the consortium and the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency Energy (ARPA-E) will provide US$10 million in funding.

The project will integrate the most promising breakthrough technologies developed in ARPA-E’s Renewable Energy to Fuels Through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) programme into a modular, demonstration facility capable of producing 1 metric ton of low- and zero-carbon ammonia per day. The technologies include Casale and RTI’s low-temperature, low-pressure synthesis along with flexible process control strategies that can vary ammonia production to meet available intermittent electricity, and the University of Minnesota’s (UMN) elevated temperature ammonia separation. The demonstration facility will be located at the UMN West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris, MN, and will leverage the site’s existing hybrid wind and solar generation in the fully integrated process.

“We are excited to integrate advanced ammonia production and utilisation technologies and demonstrate them under real-world conditions,” said Sameer Parvathikar, PhD, Principal Investigator at RTI. “In addition to our technology partners, we are also connecting with end-users to accelerate commercialisation of a technology that will play an important role in the decarbonisation of energy and agricultural industries.”

The technology integration will also demonstrate several downstream ammonia utilisation technologies, including ammonia cracking to produce hydrogen and power generation to amplify the ability to use ammonia as an energy carrier. Successful deployment of the technology will reduce the energy intensity and carbon emissions of ammonia production, maximise renewable energy usage by capturing generation fluctuations and matching demand, and enable distributed production closer to end users.

“We are deeply convinced that the solution of some of the most important challenges that will arise in the coming decades will require us all to embrace the green transformation of the industry without hesitation,” commented Federico Zardi, CEO of Casale. “However, the foundations of such essential evolution need to be laid now, just as a century ago, exactly when our company was founded, the ammonia industry was taking its first steps. We are therefore very proud to have been chosen as partners in this important project by providing our know-how and our experience and whose result may be decisive for future generations.”

“After establishing the first wind-to-ammonia pilot plant in 2013, it is very fulfilling to participate in this transformative US Department of Energy ARPA-E REFUEL project and have the opportunity to showcase the most advanced green ammonia production technologies available,” reported Mike Reese, Director of Renewable Energy at the WCROC. “This could not have been accomplished without the strong support of partners from the UMN’s Department of Chemical Engineering and the College of Science and Engineering, as well as from the State of Minnesota. The integrated ammonia technology platform is the culmination of years of research and the actions of dedicated people across the public and private spectrum with the ultimate goal to create a better world through innovation.”

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