What caught our eye - three key stories (week 14, 2024)
Sustainability. Strategy. Finance.

What caught our eye - three key stories (week 14, 2024)

Clean ammonia; industrial decarbonisation; the allure of consensus

Here are three stories that we found particularly interesting this week and why. We also give our lateral thought on each one.

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Clean ammonia - the decarbonised future of fertiliser

We know we need to decarbonise ammonia production. There are already technical solutions, including electrification, and the use of green hydrogen as a feedstock. In most cases they are not yet financially comparable, but they seem to be getting closer.

But in many situations decentralisation can also be a practical solution - moving the production of the ammonia (and nitrogen fertiliser) closer to the end user. Which is where alternatives such as that offered by We are Nium could be interesting. They are producing a modular nanotech-based alternative to the Haber-Bosch process. Technically a different approach, and so something to watch.

Ammonia is an important product from the chemical industry. It's uses are varied, from explosives to smelling salts to its current primary use: nitrogen fertilisers (80%).

The production of ammonia globally has a direct CO2e footprint as big as Brazil's! In terms of direct emissions, it is almost twice as emissions intensive as crude steel production and four times that of cement at approximately 2.4 t CO2 per tonne of production.

There have plenty of efforts to make ammonia production greener - something we wrote about in this blog 👇🏾

Greening ammonia - heat, pressure and hydrogen
Ammonia is an important product, particularly for the manufacture of fertilisers. It is emissions intensive, so how can we make it greener?

There are various ways in which ammonia's CO2e emissions can be reduced but is that all that matters?

We are Nium, which has a modular nanotech-based alternative to the Haber-Bosch process for making ammonia, commissioned Dr Claudia Gasparovic to investigate what clean ammonia on demand mean for natural systems - water, air and land? And how to eliminate emissions while minimising negative impacts on the environment?

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