SUMMARY

This demonstration project, subsidised by the government-backed New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), is scheduled to run until June 2024. [Image: Jera]

By Shardul Sharma

Jera and IHI Corporation have started ammonia mixing (20% of the heating value) at a large-scale commercial coal-fired thermal power plant in Japan as part of a demonstration project, they said on April 1.

This project, subsidised by the government-backed New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), is scheduled to run until June 2024. It aims to explore the potential of using ammonia as an energy carrier and fuel in thermal power generation, leveraging its low-cost transportation and storage capabilities and its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by not emitting carbon dioxide when burned.

Both Jera and IHI Corporation recognise the importance of advancing decarbonisation efforts, particularly in countries like Japan, where thermal power generation plays a role in ensuring a stable energy supply. The project seeks to establish ammonia substitution technology by substituting fuel with ammonia at a large-scale commercial coal-fired power plant and evaluating its impact on boiler heat absorption and environmental characteristics, including exhaust gases.

Since October 2022, the companies have been involved in constructing the necessary facilities at Jera's Hekinan thermal power station, including burners, tanks, vaporisers, and piping, to facilitate the demonstration testing of fuel ammonia substitution.

IHI Corporation has developed a test burner based on the results of small-volume testing of fuel ammonia at the power station's Unit 5, while Jera has implemented safety measures and operational frameworks for the use of fuel ammonia at the power station.

Last year, Jera entered into an agreement to purchase ammonia from compatriot Mitsui & Co.