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Posco partners with Doosan to develop ammonia-extracted hydrogen gas turbines

Posco and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction officials discuss their cooperation to develop gas turbines using hydrogen extracted from ammonia at Posco Center, Posco’s headquarters in Seoul, on July 9. (Posco)
Posco and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction officials discuss their cooperation to develop gas turbines using hydrogen extracted from ammonia at Posco Center, Posco’s headquarters in Seoul, on July 9. (Posco)

Posco is partnering with Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction to develop ammonia hydrogen extraction technology, as well as gas turbines that use the hydrogen as fuel, the company said Monday.

The country’s leading steelmaker said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and the Research Institute of Industrial Science & Technology, in a ceremony held online Monday.

Ammonia is a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen. Using ammonia as an energy source is possible, but there are limitations, as the burning velocity is only 20 percent of the speed of the liquified natural gas conventionally used to run gas turbines, and the heating value is also only 50 percent of LNG, according to Posco.

While the compound element itself is considered less efficient to use directly as fuel, however, ammonia synthesis is seen as the most efficient method of transporting hydrogen, Posco said.

Under the agreement, the steelmaker said it will be in charge of producing and supplying ammonia, and also for developing the cracker to dismantle ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen to be used for gas turbines alongside RIST.

Doosan will be in charge of developing and producing the burner to combust the gas created in the cracking process, as well as the hydrogen-powered gas turbine.

RIST is working on expanding large-capacity ammonia hydrogen extraction to a commercial-grade process. With their partnership, the three will utilize facilities developed by RIST, Posco said.

The efforts to develop ammonia-derived fuel are part of the companies’ larger efforts to come up with eco-friendly energy sources, as the usage of ammonia does not emit carbon dioxide, the steelmaker explained.

“From the agreement, we have come up with the reason to develop the hydrogen turbine technology that uses ammonia as the fuel,” Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Vice President Park Hong-wook said.

“We will continue to develop gas turbines that use environment-friendly energy sources such as LNG, hydrogen and ammonia.”

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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