Exploring the Benefits of Modular Renewable-Powered Ammonia Production: A Supply Chain Optimization Study

Matthew J. Palys, Andrew Allman, Prodromos Daoutidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Small-scale renewable-powered ammonia production is more sustainable than the current fossil fuel- and energy-intensive method. The development of lower capital cost absorbent-enhanced ammonia synthesis as well as the concept of modular chemical processes may improve the economic feasibility of such a paradigm. This possibility is investigated through an ammonia supply chain optimization study wherein modular, wind-powered ammonia production based on this new technology can be added to the existing infrastructure. The benefit of modularity is captured via a mass production exponent which reduces per-module capital cost as more are constructed. Case studies for Minnesota and Iowa show first adoption of 8760 t/y modules at conventional ammonia prices of $610/t and $574/t, respectively, which are considerably lower than those required for incorporation of scaled-down Haber-Bosch. For mass production exponents of 0.9 and less, modular production results in lower supply chain cost and more renewable incorporation than its continuous counterpart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5898-5908
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume58
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 17 2019

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