Published April 5, 2024 | Version v1
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D3b.1 – Factsheet Ammonia Cracking Technologies

  • 1. ROR icon Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research


Hydrogen can be imported from overseas in the form of ammonia. The ammonia needs to be reconverted to hydrogen in so-called cracker plants. The present study explores the possibility to dynamically adapt the production rate of these cracker plants in order to match time-varying hydrogen demand. Operated in this way, the crackers could potentially offer a control lever to enhance the stability of the entire energy system, similar to what can be achieved with underground hydrogen storage. A review of the scientific literature and interviews with several cracking technology providers reveal that there are no technological obstacles foreseen to operating cracker plants at dynamic production rate: projected ramp rates are 3% per minute, and stable operation is expected to be possible down to 20% or even 10% of the peak capacity of the plant. Since the levelized cost of hydrogen produced from cracking ammonia is projected to be dominated (80%-90%) by the cost of the ammonia feedstock rather than the CAPEX of the cracker plant, building in some headspace in the cracker capacity does not seem economically impossible. The detailed techno-economical trade-off between hydrogen storage volume and cracker overcapacity should be explored in a future study.

Dit project is medegefinancierd door TKI Nieuw Gas | Topsector Energie uit de PPS-toeslag onder referentienummer TKI2022-HyDelta. 



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