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Energy and Industrial Leadership

Transporting Energy with Ammonia

Inexpensive energy storage, transportation, and conversion to clean fuel
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Project Description


Energy Transportation

Principal Investigator

George Gascon

William L. Roberts


Energy from renewable sources, if not used immediately, needs to be stored for later use as a clean fuel. Current techniques to store energy often involve liquid hydrogen that requires cryogenic tanks cooled to -253°C. This is difficult to manage and is an inefficient means of storing and transporting clean energy.
As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia plans to generate 50% of its power needs from renewable sources, driving the need to store and transport clean energy for when needed. Using ammonia as an energy carrier creates clean energy export opportunities. Clean fuels like ammonia will account for a 30% market share of transportation fuels by 2050.
KAUST is improving the ammonia energy chain by creating processes that extract hydrogen from ammonia with unprecedented energy efficiency. This makes ammonia a viable means of converting renewable or hydrocarbon energy for storage and later use as clean energy – and an attractive clean energy alternative to liquid hydrogen.
KAUST is improving the ability to use ammonia directly as a fuel. They have developed a dual swirl combustor for gas turbines that consumes ammonia efficiently. It can also be used to combine with methane to decarbonize natural gas. These capabilities create cost efficiencies and more sustainable outcomes for using ammonia as fuel.