Sir Isaac Newton was an early president of the Royal Society. Image Credit: Royal Society
The UK's Royal Society, the oldest national scientific institution in the world, has lent its support to the use of ammonia as a marine fuel to help shipping cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The organisation published a policy briefing document Wednesday on ammonia's potential as a zero-carbon store of energy, pointing out its use in shipping as a case study of a potentially promising area.
"Although hydrocarbon fuels store more energy, the greater efficiency of ammonia powered fuel cells means that, for example, direct ammonia fuel cells have a similar overall performance to liquid propane gas (LPG) powered internal combustion engines," the Royal Society's researchers said in the study.
"Potential alternative low-carbon energy vectors, such as lithium batteries and liquid-to-gas expansion systems, have a much lower energy density than all chemical storage options and their suitability is dependent on the energy demands of the journey."
"The MAN Energy Solutions demonstration programme to retrofit current liquid natural gas marine engines to run on ammonia offers an economically feasible route toward the decarbonisation of large-scale maritime transportation," the organisation added.