The paper presents a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment of production of ammonia using wind power. The ammonia is intended to substitute for nitrogen fertilizer produced from fossil resources. The studied system is designed to supply a rural community with fertilizer based on renewable energy and is, therefore, smaller than industrial fossil ammonia production systems. Two contrasting cases examine the impact of the location of the system, investigating the dependence on the regional energy system (background system) to balance demand and supply of energy in the ammonia production system (foreground system). The results show that wind-based ammonia production can significantly decrease fossil energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional production, but that the use of energy from the background system severely impacts the environmental performance, especially in regions where fossil fuels dominate the energy system.
- Life cycle assessment
- Renewable energy