NH3 cracker produces fuel blend suitable for shipping

Sunborne test

Source: Sunborne Systems

A UK technology developer, Sunborne Systems, has successfully tested ammonia (NH3) cracking technology at the automotive scale which it plans to develop as a compact and efficient solution for shipping.

Sunborne’s ammonia reactor technology targets the retrofitting of existing fossil fuel-powered propulsion systems and energy generators. The core of the technology is a reactor which transforms stored liquid NH3 into an optimised blend of H2, N2 and uncracked NH3. The resulting cracked blend is easier to ignite and burn than pure NH3, and no GHG emissions released.

Cooled liquid NH3 is pressurised to maximise fuel storage density and provide the greatest possible heat sink for the system cooling (the liquid is -70°C). This NH3 is warmed and pumped into the reactor where some is converted to H2 and N2, while the rest of the fuel maintains the reactor temperature. Close thermal integration of the heating and cooling processes ensures overall high system efficiency, as does the relatively low temperature operation of the catalyst.

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