Korea-based SK innovation has invested $30 million in ammonia-based fuel cell startup Amogy (earlier post); the two also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation, and agreed to cooperate to develop ammonia-based fuel cell system technology and expand the market.
Amogy, established in 2020, is focused on producing an ammonia-based fuel cell system and applying it to industrial transportation. Major shareholders include Amazon and British hydrogen industry investment firm AP Ventures.
Amogy has completed a demonstration test ofan ammonia-based fuel cell system in a 5kW-class drone and a 100kW tractor, and plans to apply the technology to trucks and ships by next year. Amogy plans to develop a 500kW ammonia-based fuel cell that can be combined to generate up to 500 MW.
Amogy Tractor. Photo Credit: Bryan Banducci
SK Innovation said it made this investment is because ammonia can be the key to vitalizing the eco-friendly hydrogen economy. The development of hydrogen fuel cell technology that produces electricity by injecting hydrogen as a fuel is active worldwide. However, the efficiency of the process of storing and transporting liquefied hydrogen at ultra-low temperatures to where it will be used is still a problem.
Ammonia offers a potential solution. Because ammonia is a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen, it can be used as a fuel to produce electrical energy if hydrogen is extracted through a separate process. It has the advantage of low energy consumption and low carbon emission.
When transporting 1 kg of hydrogen from Australia to Korea, the cost of liquid ammonia is $1.7—half that of liquid hydrogen ($3.4). Liquid ammonia also has the advantage of being able to contain more hydrogen in the same space than liquid hydrogen. have. As of 2017, 180 million tons of ammonia are produced worldwide and the international transport scale is 18 million tons.
SK Innovation believes that Amogy’s ammonia-based fuel cell system technology has a high potential for commercialization in the relevant market. Amogy’s ammonia-based fuel cell system integrates an ammonia tank, an ammonia reformer (hydrogen extraction) and a hydrogen fuel cell in a compact form factor.