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American company Amogy has introduced the world's first zero-emission ammonia-powered tractor. The truck's tanks hold enough fuel to generate 900 kWh of power, equal to the lithium batteries in a Tesla Semi.
The developer of the power platform with ammonia fuel does not specify the efficiency of all stages of converting NH3 into electricity. Ammonia must be converted into pure hydrogen using a decomposition and purification system, hydrogen must be passed through fuel cores and the resulting electricity must be sent to traction electric motors, as well as fed to on-board systems. Even if the processes at all stages reach their maximum efficiency today, only half of the declared energy reserve. Installing a new ammonia tank is easier and cheaper than adding the same capacity with a set of lithium batteries.
The use of ammonia instead of pure hydrogen will greatly simplify the circulation of fuel, since hydrogen must be stored either as a gas under a huge pressure of at least 700 atmospheres, or in liquid form with cooling to -252.87 ° C. Ammonia is stored in cylinders in liquid form at normal pressure and ambient temperature. Thus, in terms of energy storage density, ammonia outperforms hydrogen gas by about three times in volume, and 20 times ahead of lithium batteries in weight.
Significantly, a shortage of lithium is predicted for the next decade, not to mention other metals and minerals important for battery production. Ammonia, like hydrogen, can be produced in an environmentally friendly way, such as in nuclear power plants or using renewable energy, which makes it important for the sustainable economy of the future.
Amogy's ammonia-powered platform installed on a serial 2018 Freightliner Cascadia semi-trailer. The vehicle has been tested on the SUNY Stony Brook campus and is scheduled to be fully evaluated on the test track later this month. In addition, Amogy has a 5 kW ammonia power plant for a drone and 100 kW for a tractor.
Moreover, Amogy is working towards the most powerful marine power plants for maritime transport. By the end of 2023, she promises to show the work of a tug with a power plant with a capacity of 1 MW, and by 2025 she promises to present a 10-MW installation for sea container ships.
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