H2Site’s Ammonia to H2Power technology for ammonia cracking on board has received approval in principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register (LR). The technology is an onboard containerised solution that produces fuel-cell-quality hydrogen using ammonia.

This hydrogen can then be utilised by hydrogen fuel cells that can contribute to the vessel’s electrical power, or the hydrogen could be consumed directly in an internal combustion engine (ICE).

Ammonia cracking is gaining momentum as a potential hydrogen carrier for onboard applications and this system is based on H2Site’s hydrogen-selective membranes. These membranes overcome the thermodynamic limitations of the ammonia cracking reaction by recovering hydrogen continuously. This results in virtually complete ammonia conversion and higher efficiencies at lower temperatures, reducing overall energy consumption and footprint.

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Evaluation and risk assessment

In awarding the AiP, the design and arrangement evaluation included an overall examination of fundamental aspects of the design and compliance with LR’s Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels. A preliminary appraisal of rules was undertaken, followed by a risk assessment conducted to ensure that the risks arising from the use of ammonia and hydrogen are addressed according to LR’s ShipRight Procedure for Risk-Based Certification (RBC).

Mark Darley, COO, Lloyd’s Register: ‘H2Site’s Ammonia to H2Power technology represents an exciting opportunity for shipowners to convert ammonia, and other feedstocks such as methanol, to hydrogen onboard their vessels without using additional gas separation technology.’

Also read: The hurdles for use of ammonia as a marine fuel

Demonstration and upscaling

H2Site operationally demonstrated its ammonia to hydrogen power technology last November when the Zumaia Offshore’s Bertha B vessel carried onboard Ammonia to H2Power technology, validating its performance in actual offshore conditions.

‘We are proud to have achieved this milestone, as it validates the design and safety of our onboard ammonia cracking technology for decarbonising maritime applications based on membrane reactors,’ says Jose Medrano, technical director at H2Site. ‘Having commissioned our first cracker and fuel cell unit last year aboard the supply vessel Bertha B, we are currently scaling up the technology and designing MW-scale units.’

The Ammonia to H2Power systems will be integrated with both propulsion systems and auxiliary power units to serve a range of vessels, from offshore platforms to tankers and gas carriers.

Picture: Aip handover, with Jose Medrano, technical director of H2Site (left) and Mark Darley, COO, Lloyd’s Register (photo by LR).

Also read: LR, SDARI, MAN & MSC to develop ammonia-fuelled container ship