NH3 as a fuel

There are three ways to use ammonia as a fuel.

  • Ammonia can be burned in a spark ignited piston engine, behaving quite a bit like an ordinary gasoline engine, except it will perform at compressions of as high as 25 to 1, which is even better than diesel’s 17 to 1 limit.
  • Ammonia will burn in a turbine, which would be used for long term electricity generation, say in a “peaker” style generation facility intended to replace a natural gas generator. This would be a machine in the multimegawatt range.
  • The third method of producing electricity from ammonia is to use it in a fuel cell. This has always been possible but development has favored hydrogen fuel cells rather than direct ammonia fuel cells thus far. This should change as ammonia generation and distribution methods spread from agricultural areas to any place that has stranded renewable electricity sources that need to be firmed.