Norwegian companies, Pherousa Green Shipping and Pherousa Green Technologies, have announced plans to develop up to six Ultramax dry-carriers equipped with ammonia-to-hydrogen cracking technology for onboard fuel cells. Deltamarin is partnering with PGT to develop the long-haul, ammonia-powered bulk carrier concept Ultramax. Metacon recently delivered an ammonia cracker based on Helbio’s tubular reforming reactor technology to Pherousa. It provides hydrogen to a PEM fuel cell with ISO 14687:2019 standards quality fuel.
The ammonia cracking technology onboard ships can lead to the development of carbon-free ammonia-based powertrains in the form of either internal combustion engines or fuel cells, with no carbon emissions. The preferred solution for different concrete situations can differ. However, both solutions are zero-CO2 solutions. Pherousa Green Technologies CEO Hans Bredrup notes that they are delighted to launch their technology at a time when global climate change has reached new levels. They look forward to pioneering and guiding the future clients of their technology along with shareholders and partners, Helbio, Metacon and HAV Group.
Pherousa’s use of ammonia in the shipping industry is somewhat of a novelty, as it is primarily used in fertilizers today. However, industry regulators have begun to limit sulfur emissions, leading to the investigation of alternative fuels like ammonia for shipping vessels. Ammonia production is thermodynamically demanding and energy-intensive and results in carbon emissions. However, using green hydrogen produced from renewable sources like solar and wind power to generate green ammonia creates mono-nitrogen-based fertilizer with no carbon emissions.
Shipping industry emissions have drawn scrutiny from environmentalists, with ships reported to emit large amounts of pollution. Companies, including Pherousa, see the development of carbon-free shipping as a vital element in the fight against climate change. Ammonia as an alternative fuel has already seen some uptake, and industry heavyweights like MAN Energy Solutions are developing ammonia engines for eventual use in deepsea shipping applications. Pherousa Green Shipping and Pherousa Green Technologies commitment to innovation with ammonia could lead to a promising future for the shipping industry in terms of environmental impact.