Powering hydrogen fuel production at sea with ammonia cracking

Powering hydrogen fuel production at sea with ammonia cracking

November 28, 2023 0 By Alicia Moore

H2SITE has successfully commissioned its on-board ammonia cracking system.

H2SITE’s ammonia cracker system, which is designed to power a hydrogen fuel cell, was successfully demonstrated by the Spanish startup company aboard an offshore supply ship, showing that the system provides hydrogen for fuel cell application.

The world’s first on-board ammonia cracking system took place on the Bertha B.

H2SITE used a supply ship called the Bertha B, which is owned by Erzoff-Shore, a joint venture between Zumaia Offshore and Erhardt Offshore, as part of its demonstration project. The 2,100 gross ton Bertha B sails the shores of the Gulf of Biscay and was built in 2016. Since 2022, it has been operating from Bermeo, Spain. The ship carries out supply and response duties for Enagás at the La Gaviota gas storage platform, which is about five miles off the northern Spanish coast.

For its ammonia cracking demonstration, H2SITE had an integrated membrane reactor installed and operated on the Bertha B. Achieving a world first, H2SITE successfully validated the first ammonia cracker to produce high-purity hydrogen for onboard power production using a PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell.

The company’s membrane reactors ensure all ammonia is converted, while delivering a high purity hydrogen fuel to the fuel cell in a one-step process. During the demonstration while navigating, H2SITE’s cracker successfully powered the ship’s auxiliary services.

Ammonia cracking tech shows promise as an effective hydrogen fuel carrier.

Many see ammonia cracking as having a lot of potential for use as onboard power generation with fuel cell technology due to ammonia’s ability as an effective carrier for hydrogen fuel.

Hydrogen Fuel - Image of bubbles in water

According to H2SITE, ammonia cracking technology can be efficient when onboard sea vessels where there is limited space. Ammonia can be used directly in the engines or converted into hydrogen through a cracking solution.

The ammonia cracking system is part of a bigger project.

hydrogen news ebookThe commissioning of the system is part of the H2OCEAN project, an ongoing project in the Basque region of Spain. The project’s objective is to research technologies that have not yet reached maturity but that can be utilized to produce sustaining vessels based on hydrogen fuel technology.

Following its successful ammonia cracking hydrogen demonstration on board the Bertha B, H2SITE will continue to scale up its technology to prove higher efficiency levels.

Ready to test your knowledge on the most abundant element in the universe? Take our fun and engaging Hydrogen Quiz now!

Spread the love