Remote, small-scale, ‘greener’ routes of ammonia production

Ishan Sharma, Pratham Arora, Andrew Hoadley, Sanjay Mahajani, Anuradda Ganesh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


This study explores the techno-economic feasibility of remotely-distributed, small-scale, ‘greener’ routes of NH3 production in Australia. A possible application could be to locally-produce bulk explosives at remotely-distributed coal mining locations. Incorporating Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in fossil fuel based processes is one of the most viable options to reduce the anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the short run. Coal and biomass have been selected as two promising hydrogen sources, keeping in mind the remotely-distributed coal mining locations and substantial availability of eucalyptus biomass in Australia. CCS is incorporated in coal based ammonia scenario to restrict the carbon footprint. Ammonia (NH3) production from any of the fossil fuels implicitly involves CO2 removal. Though, there is still the need to pressurise the CO2 to supercritical state in addition to the need to capture it in a pure-enough (95% pure) form. To gain a better understanding of economic and environmental trade-offs, two representative flowsheets have been modelled in ASPEN Plus® simulation software for the two feedstocks. The ASPEN Plus® output is used to predict the economics and the CO2 footprint for the ammonia process. Multi-objective optimization was employed to generate a Pareto plot representing the minimum ammonia production cost for different CO2 footprint values. The coal based ammonia process was found to be economically better than the biomass based ammonia process for a similar CO2 footprint. The biomass based process, however, can be carbon negative by capturing the biogenic CO2, which is not possible for coal based process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECOS 2016 - Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimisation, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Conference on Efficiency, Costs, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems (ECOS) 2016 - Portoroz, Slovenia
Duration: 19 Jun 201623 Jun 2016
Conference number: 29th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Efficiency, Costs, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems (ECOS) 2016
Abbreviated titleECOS 2016


  • Ammonia production
  • Biomass
  • CCS
  • Coal
  • Economics

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