First onboard ammonia cracker coupled with PEM fuel cell commissioned

H2SITE has successfully validated the first ammonia cracker to produce high-purity hydrogen for onboard power generation using a PEM fuel cell. An integrated membrane reactor has been installed and operated on board of the BERTHA B supply ship, sailing the shores of the Gulf of Biscay.

Maritime transport is responsible for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, presenting significant potential for emission reduction by transitioning from hydrocarbons to green fuel options, such as hydrogen.

Ammonia cracking is gaining traction as a potential hydrogen carrier for onboard applications. It can be used directly in engines, or it can be cracked into hydrogen and used in fuel cells. Before hydrogen is used, purification is necessary, especially if traces of ammonia are present.

H2SITE’s membrane reactors make sure all the ammonia is transformed, while delivering a high-purity hydrogen to the fuel cell in a single process step. During navigation, as part of the H2OCEAN project, H2SITE’s cracker has successfully powered the ship’s auxiliary services. This achievement was made possible thanks to the collaboration with players active in the maritime decarbonization segment, including Zumaia Offshore, Erhardt Offshore, Ajusa, and TECNALIA, along with the participation of Enagas and ABS.

“Our innovative membrane reactor technology not only brings an improvement in system efficiency but also reduces the footprint of the installation. This is especially important in applications where space is limited, such as onboard a vessel,” said Jose Medrano, Technical Director at H2SITE. “We have focused our design efforts on minimizing the ammonia consumption, which will be key for the scale up to suit higher power output units.”

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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