Space Propulsion Group

Ammonia-Fueled Combustion Turbine

Space Propulsion Group has started a program to evaluate ammonia as an alternative fuel for gas turbine systems for use in power generation applications. Existing gas turbine systems can be converted to burn ammonia instead of liquid fuels or natural gas.

To facilitate the use of distributed and stranded renewable energy sources, ammonia generation offers a means of energy storage. For distributed energy generation, ammonia can be generated with excess energy during peak operating periods. The ammonia can then be burned during off-peak periods in a micro turbine to generate heat and electricity for onsite applications. For stranded energy sources, ammonia can be produced and shipped to centralized power generation facilities avoiding the need for electric grid access.

NH3 Fuel Conference Papers

2012: Fuel Conditioning System for Ammonia-Fired Power Plants [PDF]
2011: Selection of NH3 for Combustion Turbine Use [PDF]

Further Information

Space Propulsion Group, Clean Energy Power Generation
Space Propulsion Group, Sunnyvale, CA, US
Contact: Arif Karabeyoglu, 408-541-1481

4 responses to “Space Propulsion Group

  1. If this global warming stance is for political, power, and tax raising purposes how you can be sure to change things? Why isn’t the president on his podium talking about alternatives like NH3 or hydrogen internal combustion engines? Could NH3 power homes and get us off the grid? If political powers don’t want to solve the ‘carbon problem’ but make legistlation and money from it…can you do a end around on them?

    • Hi James,

      I’m not sure I agree with your characterization of global warming or the carbon problem. But that’s a different conversation.

      President Obama is aware of the potential of NH3 fuel (see this press release from Dynegroup [PDF]). And he is on his podium talking about hydrogen (see the White House’s recent Energy Security Trust announcement). The NH3 Fuel Association is working to help push forward the argument for ammonia – both as a direct fuel and as a cheaper, safer form of hydrogen storage.

      Certainly, NH3 could power homes, through grid-integrated electricity generation projects, like Space Propulsion Group’s ammonia turbines, or through off-grid generation (see Natural Resources Canada’s work on distributed clean energy in Canada). The grid can be a pretty useful thing to be connected to. Another use for NH3 could be in balancing the grid – using excess renewable power to generate ammonia instead of electricity, either as an end product in itself, or as a way to store and transport energy that can be used to generate power when and where it’s needed.

  2. Pingback: Using Local Green Energy and Ammonia to Power Gas Turbine Generators | NH3 Fuel Association

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