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DECAMMP - Decomposed ammonia for carbon-free power generation

Gas turbines that use natural gas as fuel are currently the main source of the power and heat required for offshore operations. For this reason, they are also the main greenhouse gas emission sources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Decarbonising offshore operations is therefore necessary for reaching net-zero emissions goals.

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One way to fully decarbonise gas turbine operations is to use carbon-free fuels such as ammonia, especially in installations where deploying other emissions reduction solutions is not possible, for example, due to location.

Ammonia is an attractive alternative fuel because it is energy dense, meaning a small volume contains a higher amount of energy compared to other fuels. In addition, ammonia is already transported commercially, and shipping technology is mature, so we know that it would be possible to transport ammonia produced onshore to offshore facilities.

However, pure ammonia cannot be used as fuel for gas turbines. One solution is to partially decompose (“crack”) the ammonia to produce a blend of nitrogen, hydrogen and ammonia which can be used as gas turbine fuel. Ammonia decomposition is commercial, but the current technology has significant drawbacks for offshore deployment.

DECAMMP will contribute to overcoming key technical barriers to ammonia decomposition, such as the lack of affordable catalysts that work at relatively low temperatures. This would enable the surplus energy that is available in the offshore installations to be utilized for the decomposition process. DECAMMP will also develop the required reactor technology, as well as an energy-efficient process that considers offshore requirements. This will be done considering the ammonia-hydrogen (NH₃/H₂) blends that are optimal for gas turbine operation and overall emissions reduction.

There is currently a large fleet of gas turbines operating worldwide that could benefit from the results of DECAMMP. While the concept is aimed at offshore applications, where the impact will be substantial, power generation using ammonia with low-temperature cracking is expected to also play a role in the future onshore integrated low-carbon power system.

Primary objective: To develop a feasible conceptual design for the critical components and processes required to enable the use of NH₃/H₂ blends for the carbon-free operation of offshore gas turbines. To achieve this goal, the project will pursue the following secondary objectives:    

Secondary objectives:

  • To develop new materials and increased knowledge on how catalyst properties may be optimized to enable a cost-efficient system for low temperature partial decomposition with high activity and long-term stability.
  • To develop an integrated reactor model for NH3 decomposition implementing experimental kinetics and flow properties at relevant scale and operating conditions.
  • To understand the interfaces between offshore ammonia storage, NH3 decomposition, and gas turbine.
  • To develop a conceptual design and model of an integrated process for NH3 decomposition considering the operation of gas turbines in offshore installations, including the evaluation of possibilities of integrating the NH3 decomposition unit and the combustion.
  • To evaluate the potential of the proposed conceptual design in terms of efficiency and performance.
  • To show the viability and potential of the optimized decomposed NH3 blends in realistic gas turbine combustion conditions.

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Project duration

2023 - 2027

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