Innovative Reactor That Can Convert Ammonia Into The Ideal Zero-emission Fuel For Planes Or Ships

Reaction Engines, IP Group and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) join forces to produce lightweight and compact ammonia cracking reactors for use in hard-to-decarbonize sectors.

The three partners will create a decarbonization technology company that will design and deliver compact, lightweight ammonia reactors to enable the use of ammonia as a zero-carbon fuel for use in transportation applications, such as aviation and shipping. The innovative green ammonia reactor will also be useful for other difficult-to-decarbonize applications.

The reactor will catalyze ammonia into an easily burned fuel for gas turbines and internal combustion engines, with the goal of making ammonia a zero-carbon fuel for use in transportation applications.

Green ammonia is easy to store and transport and has a higher volumetric energy density than hydrogen and can be used together with hydrogen as a substitute for other carbon-based fuels. It can deliver the same performance as fossil fuels without the need for a new vehicle design.

The Reaction Engine’s heat exchanger technology will also be used to create a green ammonia cracking reactor. The STFC will provide its cutting-edge ammonia catalyst technology and the IP Group will provide the funding.

The cracking of ammonia by the aircraft’s reactors produces hydrogen and nitrogen. According to the company, its crackers make it possible to produce a fuel that closely mimics the performance of jet fuel or marine fuel, but without the CO2 emissions.

Aviation and shipping currently account for 5% of total global carbon emissions, and both sectors are expected to see significant increases in carbon emissions in the coming years.

As the UK’s leading cleantech venture investor, we are delighted to be partnering with two of the country’s most innovative organizations in the pursuit of ammonia for energy. With the Energy Transitions Commission, we highlighted green ammonia as an essential component of a net-zero economy in the 2018 Mission Possible report. The combination of Reaction Engines and STFC technologies is a profound advance, and we are excited to join forces to build a technological champion in this space.

Dr. Robert Trezona, Head of Clean Technologies of the IP Group.

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