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Spatial Variation in Cost of Electricity-Driven Continuous Ammonia Production in the United States

Bose, Abhishek and Lazouski, Nikifar and Gala, Michal L. and Manthiram, Karthish and Mallapragada, Dharik S. (2022) Spatial Variation in Cost of Electricity-Driven Continuous Ammonia Production in the United States. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 10 (24). pp. 7862-7872. ISSN 2168-0485. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c08032. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20220721-8929000

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Abstract

Cost-effective, low-carbon ammonia production is necessary for decarbonizing its existing uses but could also enable decarbonization of other difficult to electrify end uses such as shipping, where the energy density is a key criterion. Here, we assess the levelized cost of ammonia production (95% availability) at industrial-scale quantities (250 tonnes/day) in 2030 from integrating commercial technologies for renewable electricity generation, electrolysis, ammonia synthesis, and energy storage. Our analysis accounts for the spatial and temporal variability in cost and emissions attributes of the electricity supply from variable renewable energy (VRE) sources and the grid and its implications on plant design, operations, cost, and emissions. On the basis of 2030 technology cost and grid projections, we find that grid-connected ammonia in midcontinental U.S. costs 0.54–0.64 $/kg, in comparison to 0.3–0.4 $/kg for natural-gas-based ammonia and, depending on the generation mix of the grid, may have higher or lower CO₂ emissions. Fully VRE based ammonia production, even with simultaneous wind and PV utilization, is more expensive than grid-connected outcomes, due to the need for storage to manage VRE intermittency and continuous ammonia production. Using a combination of VRE and grid electricity at locations of existing ammonia facilities in the midcontinental U.S. can achieve 2–80% CO₂ emissions reduction per tonne of ammonia in comparison to natural gas routes and corresponds to a levelized cost range of 0.57–0.85 $/kg NH₃. Further cost reductions are shown to be possible if the ammonia synthesis loop can be made more flexible, which reduces the need for a round-the-clock electricity supply and substitutes use of battery storage with ammonia storage.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c08032DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Bose, Abhishek0000-0003-4358-8601
Lazouski, Nikifar0000-0002-4655-2041
Gala, Michal L.0000-0003-0676-5146
Manthiram, Karthish0000-0001-9260-3391
Mallapragada, Dharik S.0000-0002-0330-0063
Additional Information:© 2022 American Chemical Society. Received 26 November 2021. Revised 19 May 2022. Published online 8 June 2022. Published in issue 20 June 2022. The findings reported here are adapted from the Master’s thesis submitted by A.B. to complete his thesis requirements, and previous versions of these case study results are archived in the university thesis repository. (56) The authors thank Jack Morris at the MIT Energy Initiative for generating the renewable resource profiles for the various locations. A.B. acknowledges funding from the Energy Fellowship program at the MIT Energy Initiative. D.S.M. acknowledges support from the Future Energy Systems Center at the MIT Energy Initiative. N.L., M.L.G., and K.M. gratefully acknowledge support by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2204756. N.L., M.L.G., and K.M. gratefully acknowledge support by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2204756. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)UNSPECIFIED
NSFCBET-2204756
Subject Keywords:Ammonia; Hydrogen; Decarbonization; Renewable energy; Techno-economic analysis; Electrified processes; Optimization
Issue or Number:24
DOI:10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c08032
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220721-8929000
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20220721-8929000
Official Citation:Spatial Variation in Cost of Electricity-Driven Continuous Ammonia Production in the United States Abhishek Bose, Nikifar Lazouski, Michal L. Gala, Karthish Manthiram, and Dharik S. Mallapragada ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2022 10 (24), 7862-7872 DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c08032
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:115747
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:21 Jul 2022 22:38
Last Modified:21 Jul 2022 22:38

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