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Wednesday, 18 January 2023

UAE’s Adnoc + friends launch decarbonization partnerships

Adnoc, Thyssenkrupp collaborate on ammonia cracking: UAE’s Adnoc and German industrial engineering multinational Thyssenkrupp signed an MoU this week for the joint development of large-scale ammonia cracking to extract hydrogen from ammonia after transportation, according to a Thyssenkrupp statement.

Enterprise, what is ammonia cracking? Hydrogen can be generated from ammonia through a process called thermal decomposition or catalytic cracking, a US Energy Department study (pdf) notes. This basically involves splitting ammonia into hydrogen gas and nitrogen using metal catalysts like nickel at very high temperatures.

And why is this process important? To address the challenge of transporting hydrogen. Effectively transporting hydrogen is notoriously difficult, and ammonia is an ideal way to distribute hydrogen, as it’s much easier to compress and transport. The Adnoc-Thyssenkrupp partnership aims to address how to drive the global green hydrogen trade to scale and pave the way for green hydrogen exports to Europe and elsewhere, the statement notes.

How would the new partnership work? Under the agreement, Thyssenkrupp’s Uhde construction engineering unit would provide Adnoc with its ammonia cracking technology, already in use in over 130 chemicals plants globally, Reuters notes. Thyssenkrupp and Adnoc would then work together to set up “large scale” ammonia cracking plants — presumably in the UAE.


Adnoc-funded projects seeks to permanently trap CO2 in rocks: Adnoc is investing USD 15 bn in a partnership with the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation, renewables developer Masdar, and Omani carbon removal and mineralization firm 44.01 to pilot technology that will permanently mineralize CO2 in rock formations in Fujairah, according to a Wam statement. If successful, the pilot — due to start this month — could pave the way for bns of tons of captured CO2 to be mineralized across the region, the WAM statement adds.

The details: The project will use 44.01’s proprietary Carbon Capture and Mineralization (CCM) technology to capture CO2 from the air, dissolve it in seawater, and inject it into formations of peridotite — a kind of rock that naturally mineralizes CO2 — deep underground in Fujairah, an area with abundant reserves of peridotite, the statement notes. This traps the CO2 in mineral form, removing it from the atmosphere. Masdar will supply solar energy to power the project.

What we don’t know: It is unclear whether Adnoc is footing the entire bill for the pilot project, nor what the total cost of the project will be.

Lots of decarbonization agreements signed between Adnoc and Japanese firms: Adnoc CEO — and newly-appointed COP28 President — Sultan Al Jaber signed an agreement to collaborate on decarbonization technology with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura, according to Gulf News. Adnoc also signed a joint study agreement with Japan’s Tsubame BHB on new ways to manufacture ammonia, and Emirati renewables firm Masdar signed an MoU with Japan’s JERA on green hydrogen and renewable energy, Gulf News notes. Adnoc owns a 43% stake in Masdar’s nascent green hydrogen business and a 24% stake in its renewables business as of December.

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