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Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia

  • 28 Jun 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Green Hydrogen, Green Ammonia, Haber's Process

For Mains: Green Hydrogen/Green Ammonia Policy,

Why in News?

Recently, a seminar on Production & Use of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia in the Process Industry was held

  • Process Industries are the companies that extract, transport and process raw materials to manufacture semi-finished or high-quality end products by means of physical, mechanical and/or chemical processes.

What is Green Hydrogen?

  • About:
    • The fuel can be a game-changer for the energy security of India, which imports 85% of its oil and 53% of gas requirements.
    • To promote clean fuels, India is considering making it mandatory for fertilizer plants and oil refineries to purchase green hydrogen.
  • Method of Production:
    • It is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer powered by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
  • Uses:
    • Chemical industry: Manufacturing ammonia and fertilizers.
    • Petrochemical industry: Production of petroleum products.
    • Furthermore, it is starting to be used in the steel industry, a sector which is under considerable pressure in Europe because of its polluting effect.
  • Significance:
    • Green hydrogen energy is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Targets and ensure regional and national energy security, access and availability.
    • Green Hydrogen can act as an energy storage option, which would be essential to meet intermittencies (of renewable energy) in the future.
    • In terms of mobility, for long distance mobilizations for either urban freight movement within cities and states or for passengers, Green Hydrogen can be used in railways, large ships, buses or trucks, etc.
    • Hydrogen has the potential to be the key renewable target in supporting infrastructure as well.

What is Green Ammonia?

  • About:
    • Ammonia is a chemical which is used mainly in the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilizers, like urea and ammonium nitrate, but can be put to other uses too, such as to run engines.
    • Green ammonia production is where the process of making ammonia is 100% renewable and carbon-free.
  • Method of Production:
    • It is produced by using hydrogen from water electrolysis and nitrogen separated from the air. These are then fed into the Haber process (Also known as Haber-Bosch), all powered by sustainable electricity.
      • Green ammonia production makes use of renewable energy sources such as hydro-electric, solar power or wind turbines.
    • In the Haber process, hydrogen and nitrogen are reacted together at high temperatures and pressures to produce ammonia, NH3.
  • Uses:
    • Energy storage: Ammonia is easily stored in bulk as a liquid at modest pressures (10-15 bar) or refrigerated to -33°C. This makes it an ideal chemical store for renewable energy.
    • Zero-carbon fuel: Ammonia can be burnt in an engine or used in a fuel cell to produce electricity. When used, ammonia’s only by-products are water and nitrogen.
    • The maritime industry is likely to be an early adopter, replacing the use of fuel oil in marine engines.
  • Significance:
    • Green ammonia is intended to be used in the production of carbon-neutral fertilizer products, decarbonizing the food value chain, and also has potential as a future climate-neutral shipping fuel.
    • Green ammonia is crucial to tackle the existential challenges of producing enough food to feed a growing global population and generating CO2-free energy.

What is Green Hydrogen/Green Ammonia Policy?

  • Under the policy, the government is offering to set up manufacturing zones for production, connectivity to the ISTS (Inter-State Transmission System) on priority basis, and free transmission for 25 years if the production facility is commissioned before June 2025.
    • This means that a green hydrogen producer will be able to set up a solar power plant in Rajasthan to supply renewable energy to a green hydrogen plant in Assam and would not be required to pay any inter-state transmission charges.
    • Besides, producers will be allowed to set up bunkers near ports for storage of green ammonia for export by shipping.
  • The production target has also been raised five times from 1 million tonnes (m) to 5 mt by 2030.
    • In October, 2021 it was announced that India is targeting initially around 1 million tonnes annual green hydrogen production by 2030.
  • Manufacturers of Green hydrogen and ammonia are allowed to purchase renewable power from the power exchange or set up Renewable Energy (RE) capacity themselves or through any other developer, anywhere.
  • To ensure ease of doing business a single portal for carrying out all the activities including statutory clearances in a time bound manner will be set up by MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy).

Source: PIB

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