July 21, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 132
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In episode 132, Exxon announces a huge green ammonia project. And Rolls Royce wants to see how hydrogen performs and their turbines. All this on today’s hydrogen podcast.
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Exxon announces a huge green ammonia project. And Rolls Royce wants to see how hydrogen performs and their turbines. All this on today’s hydrogen podcast.
So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.
In a press release on June 24, Exxon Mobil, Grieg Edge, North Ammonia and GreenH has signed a memorandum of understanding to study potential production and distribution of green hydrogen and ammonia for lower emission marine fuels at Exxon Mobil’s Slagen terminal in Norway. The study will explore the potential for the terminal which is powered by hydro electricity to produce over 20,000 metric tons of green hydrogen per year and distribute up to 100,000 metric tons of green ammonia per year. The hydrogen would be produced from hydro powered electrolysis, and a quote from Dan Ammann president of Exxon Mobil’s low carbon solutions, hydrogen has the potential to significantly reduce co2 emissions in key sectors of the global economy that create valuable products that support modern life. He continues to say this study will explore the potential for Exxon Mobil’s Slagen fuel terminal to help reduce emissions from Norway’s maritime sector and help achieve society’s Net Zero ambitions.
Exxon Mobil brings us experience and expertise in developing complex global projects to advance meaningful greenhouse gas emission reductions, such as the Slagen terminal opportunity. Grieg Edge, green H and North Ammonia will provide their expertise in sustainable maritime transport hydrogen infrastructure and green hydrogen and ammonia project development to study the feasibility for a green hydrogen and ammonia redistribution facility. In a quote from Matt Duke CEO of Grieg Maritime Group, Slagen is an exceptionally suitable location as a central hub for hydrogen and ammonia to the maritime sector. He continues to say with the complementary expertise amongst the MOU partners, we now have taken an important next step in our efforts to achieve emissions reductions in the maritime sector. The International Energy Agency projects hydrogen will meet 10% of global energy needs by 2050 and says it is critical to achieving societal Net Zero global emissions. The Norwegian government has published a roadmap for hydrogen that includes establishing low emissions hydrogen hubs along the coast of Norway.
The Slagen terminal is located at the opening of the Oslo fjord, where more than 10,000 ships pass through every year. In a quote from Morten S. Watle, CEO of GreenH. There is high value in producing green hydrogen close to where consumption is at Slagen bunkering of hydrogen could be offered straight from the production facility. Green ammonia is made using renewable power to separate hydrogen from water. When used as a fuel green ammonia has no carbon and generates zero co2. In a quote from Vidar Lundberg, CEO of North ammonia, this MOU underlines our strategy to make ammonia available where there is market demand. We will also assess the potential distribution of ammonia from production facilities south of Slagen. Now, Exxon Mobil is working to commercialize lower emission technologies and support society’s Net Zero ambitions by leveraging the skills knowledge and scale of the business. In addition to evaluating development of ammonia and hydrogen, the company is pursuing strategic investments in carbon capture and storage and biofuels to help bring those lower emissions energy technologies to scale for hard to decarbonize sectors of the global economy. Exxon Mobil is planning to build one of North America’s largest low carbon hydrogen production facilities at its Baytown, Texas petrochemical complex, and is also studying potential for a similar facility at Southampton Fawley complex in the UK.
ExxonMobil is also exploring opportunities to use ammonia as a low emission and high efficiency energy carrier, particularly to ship and store hydrogen over long distances. Ammonia is typically produced from natural gas and is commonly used as an industrial and agricultural chemical, particularly in fertilizer, but has potential for wide use and power generation industrial heat and maritime fuels. Okay, so some interesting news from Exxon that flew under the radar. And the first thing I can tell you about this is don’t Write this news off. I can tell you firsthand that Exxon is taking this opportunity very seriously, and are paying very close attention to the global hydrogen market. And I know that Exxon likes to keep a lot of information very close. So the fact that they’re releasing this much information speaks volumes, and that they do see an economic return for green ammonia globally. Next, in an article from financial times.com, Silvia Pfeiffer writes, Rolls Royce to run engine tests with hydrogen as emission pressures grow. Rolls Royce plans to test whether hydrogen can safely power a small aircraft and ground trials using two of its engines as the UK engineering group steps up research into cutting edge technologies. The first trial will be carried out in the UK this year, using one of its AE 2100 turboprop engines. The power is civil and military aircraft, while the second will test the fuel on a pearl 15 one of its business jet engines in the US at a later date.
The move comes as the aviation industry is under pressure to curb harmful emissions. Air traffic volumes and emission levels have rebounded as passengers have returned to the skies following the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Aviation consultancy iba forecasts carbon emissions this year will be 36% higher than 2021 and match pre pandemic 2019 levels by 2023. The trials although not involving flying an aircraft are part of a new hydrogen demonstration program launched by Rolls Royce, after research showed there was a market potential for hydrogen powered aircraft. The research was carried out in partnership with the Fly Zero team aiming to realize zero carbon emissions at the UK Aerospace Technology Institute, the body that allocates state funding for innovation in the sector.
In a quote from Alan Newby, Director of aerospace technology and future programs at Rolls Royce, the test would give them an early feel of some of the challenges by burning hydrogen. Now depending on the results of these tests, a decision on whether to conduct full flight tests will be taken in a year or two. The FTSE 100 company has until now at least in public focus more on the potential for sustainable aviation fuels SAF’s to help decarbonize aviation rather than hydrogen, which critics warn will be expensive because of the infrastructure investment costs. Newbie says Rolls Royce is still convinced that in the short term there was no alternative apart from bio derived SAF’s is to help the industry reduce emissions. He says in the near term in terms of decarbonizing aviation apart from his efficiency solutions, they will continue to need to invest in SAF’s he says that they see SAF’s as a really key near term enabler to netzero aviation.
However, the company had been doing quite a lot behind the scenes on hydrogen that’s according to newbie and the fly zero activity quote, help them firm up their belief that there will be a role for hydrogen. The company newbie added wanted to be able to offer Airbus which plans to bring a zero emission aircraft into service by 2035. A choice of engines when the European manufacturer came to deciding whether to launch a commercial plane. Airbus is working with CFM International, a joint venture between Francis Safrin and General Electric of the US to develop an engine that can run on hydrogen for a test aircraft. Again, according to Newbie, we don’t know what Airbus plans but we want to be in a position to give them a choice when it comes to the decision on product launch. Separately, the company plans to run its ultra fan demonstrator engine on SAF’s this year. The engine offers a 25% fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation Trent engine. Okay, so
interesting news, as Rolls Royce is looking to break in to the hydrogen turbine game. And it sounds like ultimately, they’re looking to supply airline manufacturers with their jet turbines, in this case, Airbus, which is actively pursuing hydrogen alternatives. And while I am very curious to see how these initial tests turn out, I’m going to be particularly focused on how they address the NOX issue with burning hydrogen. The other part of this article that really stands out to me though, is the mention of them focusing on sustainable aviation fuels. Now I’ve had several discussions with people in and around the energy transition space. And I can tell you that sin fuels sin gas, biogas need to be on everyone’s radar if you’re interested in hydrogen, as the SYN fuels and the hydrogen industry are intertwined, and those syn fuels offer the first real look At an energy transition.
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