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“Ammonia to Hydrogen” Cracker Technology Launch

23 Mar 2023 07:00

RNS Number : 9323T
AFC Energy Plc
23 March 2023


23 March 2023



AFC Energy PLC

("AFC Energy" or the "Company")



Advanced "Ammonia to Hydrogen" Cracker Technology Launch



AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, is pleased to announce the launch of its new advanced ammonia cracker technology platform. 


The Company's new cracker technology is an innovative, new hydrogen generation solution that aims to unlock the value of ammonia as a hydrogen carrier fuel across target markets in Europe and Asia. 


The Hydrogen Council now predicts that investment in international hydrogen trade is forecast to grow to US$150 billion by 2030, before increasing to US$1.5 trillion by 2050. A large percentage is forecast to be via synthetic fuels such as ammonia, highlighting the high growth in demand for ammonia cracking technology in order to liberate hydrogen from the carrier fuel. 


Originally focused on maritime applications, AFC Energy's modular, scalable ammonia cracker technology will support the decentralized generation of low cost hydrogen, further enabling the Company's fuel cell technology in regions affected by hydrogen storage and transport challenges. The cracker will also create new commercial opportunities as a standalone product capable for stationary, modular hydrogen generation across the global hydrogen value chain.


The launch follows extensive cracker reactor validation testing over the past two years and completed in March at the Company's UK test facilities. Larger modular cracker system prototypes are expected within twelve months and initial commercial deployments expected during 2025.


AFC Energy's ammonia cracker is complementary to the Company's existing fuel cell platform and supports fuel cell system salability in key markets where hydrogen supply logistics can be challenging.


AFC Energy is seeing interest from European utilities, green and blue ammonia producers, ship owners, and heavy plant and equipment manufacturers and exploring near term commercial partnerships.


The cracker technology has now been accelerated in response to the material growth in ammonia imports being contracted into Europe (as a hydrogen carrier fuel) to support the EU's sustainable energy policies and address energy independence challenges arising out of the Ukraine conflict.



Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy, said: 


"AFC Energy's new ammonia cracking technology platform now takes us into the hydrogen generation market facilitating renewed energy security and reliability. Clean ammonia is a preferred means of transporting hydrogen to end users, particularly in Europe and Asia, and with today's technology launch, AFC Energy is targeting these key markets to enable a faster, more widespread adoption of hydrogen where storage and transportation challenges might otherwise present short-term challenges. 


"Consistent with our "flex fuel" strategy launched last year, AFC Energy's low cost, modular ammonia cracker aims to enable a broader "ammonia to power" opportunity utilising our existing proprietary fuel cell technology. It also opens new markets for our partners to exploit as a hydrogen refueller in support of heavy duty motive applications.


"AFC Energy's ammonia cracker technology continues to position the UK at the leading edge of the hydrogen economy and positions us to support Europe's wider aspirations around decarbonisation, as well as energy independence and security in today's volatile energy market." 










For further information, please contact:


AFC Energy plc

Adam Bond (Chief Executive Officer) 


+44 (0) 14 8327 6726


Peel Hunt LLP Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker

Richard Crichton / Tom Ballard / Georgia Langoulant


+44 (0) 207 418 8900


Zeus Joint Broker

David Foreman / James Hornigold (Investment Banking)

Dominic King (Corporate Broking) / Rupert Woolfenden (Sales)

+44 (0) 203 829 5000


FTI Consulting Financial PR Advisors

Ben Brewerton / Caroline Cutler / Dhruv Soni


+44 (0) 203 727 1000




Background - Ammonia Cracker Market Opportunity


· Ammonia is derived from a combination of hydrogen and nitrogen molecules (NH3) without the presence of carbon, meaning it emits no CO2 when consumed. 


· Ammonia is an excellent hydrogen carrier fuel as it is relatively easy to transport and can be stored at atmospheric temperature when pressurised. 


· Demand for ammonia as a hydrogen carrier fuel is predicted to grow exponentially, creating a significant market for cracker technology:


Future Market Insights predicts green ammonia demand growth of c.72% from now until 2032 and the IEA's "World Energy Outlook 2022" predicts ammonia will become the leading green shipping fuel over the next few decades. 


The Hydrogen Council, in its 2022 report "Global Hydrogen Flows", predicts that up to 45% of hydrogen flows will be transported to end users via hydrogen carrier derivatives such as ammonia. Cracking technology could be adopted both at port and across a distributed network of hydrogen refueller sites. 


Ammonia is expected to account for 45% of the global shipping fleet's decarbonisation (IEA) with cracker deployment potential for each vessel


· AFC Energy's advanced ammonia cracker platform is designed to offer solutions across a number of markets. This could include, through integration with AFC Energy's fuel cell technologies, on board maritime vessels, but equally, the cracker technology could be deployed to enable refueling of fuel cell trucks and buses where the cost of delivering hydrogen infrastructure is cost prohibitive. 


· One use case currently under consideration is the centralised cracking of ammonia at remote construction sites with the ability to deliver hydrogen to site in the form of ammonia, crack it into hydrogen and consume the hydrogen in an AFC Energy fuel cell power generator, refuel a hydrogen logistics truck, provide hydrogen for combustion in a hydrogen engine or simply refuel onsite fuel cell diggers. 


· Modular cracker design and low-cost system architecture makes the cracker readily scalable from small-scale hydrogen production to multi-million tonnes per annum


· The forecast low-cost cracker production cost, scalability of design, engineering modularity, fast response time, high efficiency and the ability to fully integrate with AFC Energy's own fuel cell technology offers a competitive advantage in the market today.



About AFC Energy


AFC Energy plc is deploying its hydrogen fuel cell systems to provide clean electricity for on and off grid power needs. The technology, pioneered over the past twelve years in the UK, is now deployable to support the electrification of electric vehicle chargers, off-grid decentralised power systems and data centre back up applications with emerging opportunities across maritime and rail as part of a portfolio approach to the decarbonisation of local electricity needs. The Company also offers customers a flexibility in sourcing lowest cost hydrogen through a "flexible fuel" strategy incorporating hydrogen carrier fuels such as ammonia and methanol and associated fuel conversion technologies.

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