All About Japan

Ammonia Just May Be the Fuel of the Future

Technology Science

Heavy-industry manufacturer IHI Corporation is experimenting with a technology that uses ammonia to generate thermal power. Working in a facility that can generate 2,000 kilowatts, IHI burned natural gas that was mixed with up to 60 percent ammonia.

They successfully generated the same amount of electricity while cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent. The move is part of Japan's efforts to make the nation carbon neutral by 2050.

Uchida Masahiro, chief researcher of the IHI technology developing department said, "One of the reasons why ammonia was not recognized as fuel is because it is very difficult to burn. We are developing a technology to burn the material."

The manufacturer plans to increase the ratio of ammonia in the gas mixture to 100 percent in the next two years, and expand it to practical application at homes in the future. The compound is expected to have significant advantages as a fuel of the future, as it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Japan is eying to increase the usage of annual ammonia to three million tons a year from the current 1 million in 2030.