Ammonia as a Fuel to Decarbonize Transportation
The Inception of a New Fuel in Established Markets Amid the Energy Transition
As countries around the world aim to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century, the success of global decarbonization efforts depends upon technological developments in the transportation industry. Progress on emissions reductions to date has been concentrated mainly on the electrification of the passenger vehicle segment. However, other forms of transportation—especially long-haul trucking, locomotives, aviation, and shipping—have proven much more difficult to decarbonize.
Ammonia is attracting increasing attention as an enabler of emissions reductions in the hard-to-abate transportation sectors. Produced by combining hydrogen with atmospheric nitrogen, ammonia has been used by various industries for more than a century, primarily as a chemical precursor to nitrogen fertilizers. However, ammonia also possesses a relatively high volumetric energy density compared with hydrogen and existing battery chemistries, which makes it an attractive energy carrier.
This report explores the different applications for ammonia as an affordable, readily accessible, and storable zero-carbon fuel within the transportation sector and beyond. This paper also explores drivers that support further adoption of ammonia use, barriers that could impede its growth, and recommendations for key stakeholders to consider.