As firing of ammonia produces no carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon-free power generation is achieved.
Going forward, after combustion and other testing, Mitsubishi Power is targeting commercialization in or around 2025.
When achieved, it will mark the world’s 1st commercialized gas turbine to make exclusive use of ammonia as fuel in a system of this scale, and will aid in the promotion of decarbonization of small to medium-scale power stations for industrial applications, on remote islands, etc.
Mitsubishi has pursued technological developments enabling a transition from natural gas fuel used in gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) systems, which currently emit the lowest amount of CO2 among thermal power generation systems, to hydrogen, which emits no CO2.
In tandem with pursuing active use of ammonia, the сompany has also been developing a system in which the waste heat from a gas turbine reconverts ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen for use in hydrogen gas turbines.
Developing a method for directly combusting ammonia will further expand Mitsubishi Power’s lineup of carbon-free power generation systems.
A challenge needing to be addressed with direct combustion of ammonia is the production of nitrogen oxide (NOx) caused by oxidation resulting from the combustion of the nitrogen component of the fuel.
Mitsubishi Power is aiming to resolve this issue through commercialization of a gas turbine system that combines selective catalytic reduction with a newly developed combustor that reduces NOx emissions, for installation in the сompany’s H-25 Series gas turbines (output: 40MW class), which has a rich operational track record spanning the globe.
Ammonia, which is a compound consisting of hydrogen and nitrogen, is a highly efficient hydrogen carrier, and it can also be directly combusted as fuel.
In recent years, attention has begun to focus on ammonia from 2 perspectives:
- achieving carbon neutrality through transition to a hydrogen society
- and minimizing environmental impact caused by existing energy modes
How «green ammonia» will be used is also of growing interest.
Several countries have outlined ambitions to integrate ammonia in their future energy system, including as a fuel for fuel cells and internal combustion engines.
Japan, which prominently leads these efforts, envisions a substantial role for ammonia power generation.
An updated overview of its green growth strategy issued by Japan’s Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry this February, suggests «full ammonia power generation» could be demonstrated by 2045.