Air Liquide and KBR to offer ATR-based low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen technologies

Air Liquide and KBR to offer ATR-based low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen technologies

Air Liquide, through its Engineering & Construction Division, will work with US engineering firm KBR to offer fully integrated low-carbon ammonia solutions based on Autothermal Reforming (ATR) technology.

Air Liquide is a world leader in ATR technology, one of the most suitable solutions for large-scale production of low-carbon hydrogen (H2), which is then combined with nitrogen (N2) to produce low-carbon ammonia (NH3). The solutions provided with KBR, the world leader in ammonia technology, will also contribute to the development of a global low-carbon hydrogen market as, when transformed into ammonia, hydrogen can be easily transported over long distances.

Air Liquide will provide its unique and proprietary expertise in Autothermal Reformer (ATR), and KBR its mastery and world leadership in ammonia production technology. Air Liquide has established its leadership in oxygen-based ATR technology through nearly seven decades of experience.

Since 1943, KBR has licensed, engineered, or constructed over 250 grassroot ammonia plants worldwide. The Air Liquide and KBR solutions can achieve energy efficiency and reliability with a production process which also allows for a carbon capture rate of up to 99% in highly integrated industrial facilities when combined with carbon capture technology.

The global ammonia market size reached US$78 billion in 2022 and is projected to surpass US$129 billion by 2030; it is expected to grow by 6.5% per year on average between 2022 and 2030, according to Precedence Research[1]. Today, ammonia is mainly used as a fertiliser for agriculture.

In the longer term, Air Liquide and KBR will work together to contribute to the development of low-carbon hydrogen as a key enabler of the energy transition. Ammonia can be easily transported over long distances and a global supply chain infrastructure is already in place for the production, transportation and utilisation of ammonia at large scale.

Once transported, ammonia can be converted back into hydrogen to contribute to the decarbonisation of industry and mobility. In March 2023, Air Liquide announced the construction of an industrial scale ammonia cracking pilot plant in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Using innovative technology, this plant will make it possible to convert, with an optimized carbon footprint, ammonia into hydrogen.