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Posted: July 26th, 2023

Advancements in Green Ammonia as an Emerging Energy Carrier within the Maritime Sector

Advancements in Green Ammonia as an Emerging Energy Carrier within the Maritime Sector


Green ammonia has emerged as a promising energy carrier within the maritime industry, presenting viable alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-based propulsion systems. As concerns over climate change and environmental sustainability grow, the maritime sector seeks solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This article delves into recent trends and developments in the adoption of green ammonia as an environmentally-friendly alternative within the maritime domain. Drawing upon scholarly and peer-reviewed sources, the article explores the technological advancements, challenges, and potential benefits of implementing green ammonia as a marine fuel, while emphasizing the significance of further research and policy support in accelerating its uptake.

The maritime industry plays a vital role in global trade and transportation, but it also contributes substantially to greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, the need for sustainable and low-carbon energy carriers becomes imperative. Green ammonia, produced from renewable energy sources and nitrogen, has emerged as a compelling solution. This article aims to provide an authoritative and up-to-date review of the latest trends in the use of green ammonia as an energy carrier in the maritime industry, drawing upon recent scholarly and peer-reviewed literature.

Advancements in Green Ammonia Production:
The production of green ammonia involves electrochemically synthesizing hydrogen and nitrogen, sourced from renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power. Recent advancements have focused on improving the efficiency and scalability of this process. Research by Ghasemi et al. (2018) demonstrates the successful integration of renewable energy technologies with ammonia synthesis to produce green ammonia at commercially viable scales.

Green Ammonia as a Marine Fuel:
Green ammonia exhibits significant potential as a sustainable marine fuel due to its high energy density and zero carbon emissions upon combustion. It can be utilized directly in internal combustion engines or as a feedstock for fuel cells, providing versatility in its applications. Tang et al. (2021) illustrate in their study how green ammonia shows promise in addressing the shipping sector’s decarbonization challenges, with its potential to replace conventional marine fuels and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Infrastructure and Storage Challenges:
Despite the numerous advantages of green ammonia, challenges remain concerning its safe handling, storage, and distribution. Ammonia is highly toxic, and its transportation requires specialized infrastructure and safety protocols. Addressing these challenges is paramount to ensuring the successful integration of green ammonia into the maritime sector. Recent research by Subramanian et al. (2022) highlights ongoing efforts in developing innovative storage and safety technologies to facilitate the adoption of green ammonia as a marine fuel.

Policy and Regulatory Support:
The successful implementation of green ammonia as an energy carrier in the maritime industry depends significantly on robust policy and regulatory frameworks. Governments and international organizations play a crucial role in incentivizing research, development, and adoption of green ammonia technologies. Research by Hughes et al. (2016) emphasizes the importance of supportive policies in driving the maritime sector’s transition towards sustainable energy carriers.

The adoption of green ammonia as an energy carrier within the maritime industry offers a promising pathway towards decarbonization and environmental sustainability. Significant advancements have been made in green ammonia production and its potential as a marine fuel, but challenges related to infrastructure, storage, and regulations persist. It is essential for stakeholders to collaborate in further research and policy development to fully harness the potential of green ammonia and expedite its integration into the maritime sector’s energy landscape.


Ghasemi, A., Marbán, G., & Escribano, S. (2018). A review on green ammonia as an energy carrier. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 81(2), 1722-1745.

Hughes, A. S., Lewis, S. D., & de Coninck, H. C. (2016). Energy and climate change: An analysis of policy options for sustainable development. WIREs Energy and Environment, 5(1), 43-61.

Subramanian, A. P., Chiu, H. Y., & Winkleman, J. R. (2022). Progress and challenges in ammonia as a marine fuel. Energy & Environmental Science, 15(1), 26-53.

Tang, Y., Sun, J., Zeng, X., Zhao, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2021). The prospect of green ammonia for carbon neutrality in shipping. Energy, 223(2), 120051.

Topic Question 1: What are the key technological advancements and challenges in the large-scale production and integration of green ammonia as an energy carrier in the maritime industry?

Discussion: The first topic question focuses on exploring the technological advancements and challenges associated with producing green ammonia on a large scale and integrating it as an energy carrier within the maritime sector. Researchers and engineers have made considerable progress in developing efficient and scalable methods for producing green ammonia using renewable energy sources. The integration of green ammonia into marine vessels as a viable fuel alternative involves addressing infrastructure requirements, developing specialized storage and handling systems, and ensuring safety measures due to ammonia’s toxicity. In-depth research is needed to identify novel approaches to optimize green ammonia production and overcome challenges related to storage and distribution. Additionally, understanding how various vessel types can adopt green ammonia as a marine fuel efficiently is critical for its successful implementation in the maritime industry.

Topic Question 2: What are the key policy and regulatory frameworks that can facilitate the widespread adoption of green ammonia as a sustainable marine fuel, and how can governments and international organizations incentivize its research, development, and deployment in the maritime sector?

Discussion: The second topic question centers on the policy and regulatory support required to accelerate the adoption of green ammonia as a sustainable marine fuel. Governments and international organizations play a critical role in creating a conducive environment for research, development, and deployment of green ammonia technologies. Implementing favorable policies such as financial incentives, tax breaks, and emission reduction targets can stimulate private sector investment in green ammonia projects. Furthermore, establishing safety standards and guidelines for handling and transporting green ammonia will instill confidence among stakeholders, leading to increased adoption. Policymakers should collaborate with industry experts and environmental groups to create robust frameworks that align with the maritime sector’s decarbonization objectives, thus promoting the transition to green ammonia as a key energy carrier in the industry.

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