May 18, 2022

FuelPositive aims to deploy a pilot green ammonia production system in the summer of 2022

The Canadian company FuelPositive Corp. released an update on its green ammonia production technology, a modular and scalable system for use in a wide range of industries and applications.

FuelPositive began building its first full-scale prototype system in June, immediately after filing its provisional patent on its reactor technology. Construction of the second and third prototypes is expected to begin before the end of 2021, using a batch manufacturing approach.

By the end of March 2022, the team will validate the purity of the green ammonia produced by the first prototype system, as well as the OPEX figures. Pre-orders will begin at that time. The first pilot system will be ready for deployment in the summer of 2022. The second and third systems will be deployed later in 2022. The company will also host a system at its facilities for further development, monitoring and demonstration.

As lot sizes increase, the company expects mass (assembly line-style) manufacturing to begin in 2023.

“It has been an incredible year for us. In January, we became FuelPositive; in March, we signed the intellectual property acquisition agreement for our green ammonia technology with Dr. Ibrahim Dincer and his team; in May, we formed our manufacturing partnership with National Compressed Air to build our prototype systems; in June, we filed our provisional patent and began building our production system prototypes. Since then, we have raised over C$12 million, which will cover our construction costs for a number of green ammonia production systems. We are on track to launch several “real-world” demonstration pilots to showcase our technology throughout 2022. And – perhaps the most significant achievement of all – we have assembled a team of undisputed experts in their fields – from engineering and manufacturing to robotics and carbon credits,” said Ian Clifford, CEO and Chairman of the Board of FuelPositive. “We are very efficient, knowledgeable and experienced in every step we have to take on the road to commercialization. We can go much faster than our competitors and that’s one of our great strengths!

Commercialization of the company’s green ammonia production system relies on a practical costing model and tight timeline to be first to market. The costing model and schedule were presented in detail during a company update webinar held on November 18, providing stakeholders with an opportunity to ask questions of the director. General Ian Clifford and Managing Director Nelson Leite.

Groups around the world are racing to make green ammonia a reality. Although many parties are working on it, attempts so far have been too costly, putting it out of reach for end users. About 80% of traditional or “grey” ammonia, produced from fossil fuels, is used by the agricultural sector, mainly as fertilizer. For green ammonia to be adopted by farmers, it must be affordable. FuelPositive targets agriculture for its first demonstration pilot project.

For the purpose of this costing model, FuelPositive worked from a case study based on an 1800 acre farm in Manitoba, Canada, where the average gray ammonia price in 2021 was calculated at CA$900/t. (The cost of delivering gray anhydrous ammonia to farmers in Manitoba, Canada has doubled from C$600 to over C$1,200/t over a six month period this year. This averages 900 CA$/t delivered to the farm this year.)

The first FuelPositive systems will produce up to 300 kilos (500 liters) of green anhydrous ammonia per day, or approximately 100 tpa. This outlet is suitable for the company’s 1800-acre model farm.

The cost of production (operating expense or OPEX) for the case study was calculated by FuelPositive at approximately C$560/t (based on a hydrogen production efficiency rate of 65%) , compared to the current average cost of C$900/t of gray ammonia. FuelPositive anticipates less than C$500/t for future systems as production efficiencies improve.

Electricity costs for the farm are estimated at CA$0.045 (4.5 cents) per kilowatt hour. This is based on the current cost of electricity paid in Manitoba, which has a sustainable, carbon-free electricity grid. The cost of electricity represents the largest component of the overall cost of green ammonia produced in the FuelPositive system.

This cost does not take into account any additional cost reductions associated with carbon credits, which could reduce the cost by 50% or more, or the farmer’s ability to generate sustainable electricity for the FuelPositive system through solar or wind generation on site. Today, the cost of solar energy is at par with the Manitoba grid, but the cost of renewable energy is expected to continue to decline.

Key findings from the case study show that the FuelPositive system provides:

  • Stable, predictable and very competitive cost of CA$560/t, compared to gray anhydrous ammonia, which averages CA$900/t this year.
  • Independence from the wildly fluctuating supply chain that exists today for gray anhydrous ammonia.
  • On-site production and use of a truly sustainable, carbon-free and green form of anhydrous ammonia.
  • The ability for farmers to not only use their own source of green anhydrous ammonia as fertilizer, but to further diversify and have their own fuel source to replace fossil fuels in grain drying and power equipment internal combustion engines, such as tractors and combine harvesters.

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