Tuesday, June 25, 2024

GE Vernova, IHI to develop 100% ammonia capable gas turbine combustor

As a hydrogen-derived fuel that does not emit carbon when burned in a gas turbine, ammonia is expected to play an important role in the reduction of carbon emissions in the power sector for thermal power stations and dispatchable generation in support of the energy transition.

GE Vernova’s Gas Power business and Japanese engineering giant IHI have recently signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to progress the technology and engineering for the development of a new gas turbine combustor that can use ammonia as a viable fuel option for power generation compatible with GE Vernova’s 6F.03, 7F and 9F gas turbines.

This collaboration builds upon IHI’s successful development of a 2-megawatt (MW) gas turbine using 100% liquid ammonia. This project reduced greenhouse gases, including nitrous oxide, generated by more than 99% of the combustion of ammonia.

In the engineering phase, various combustion technology concepts will be evaluated to see how well they can meet key operational requirements and how they might impact the entire power plant.

GE Vernova and IHI aim to develop a two-stage combustor that can burn up to 100% ammonia in order to comply with emission requirements. IHI’s facilities in Japan will be used for combustion testing to mature the new combustor design.

The new combustor not only serves as an installation for new builds but also offers an alternative path to decarbonize existing gas turbine power plants. This means that power plants that operate on conventional fuels can be upgraded to operate on fuel that does not produce carbon emissions without replacing the existing gas turbine. This can be done by simply changing the natural gas combustor to a new ammonia combustor with minimum upgrades to the fuel system and associated balance of plant systems.

As per the October 2023 three-way MOU between Sembcorp, IHI, and GE Vernova, the potential ammonia combustor retrofitting can be explored at Sembcorp’s Sakra power plant in Singapore powered by GE Vernova’s 9F gas turbine. The project is expected to help Sembcorp generate low-carbon energy from its existing power plant assets and support Singapore’s efforts to diversify its energy sources and decarbonize the power sector.

“This joint development agreement with GE Vernova marks a milestone in decarbonization towards a more sustainable future with the creation of an ammonia value chain,” said Kensuke Yamamoto, IHI VP of Business Development HQ’s and GM of Ammonia Value Chain Project Department. “Among the various hydrogen carriers, ammonia represents a truly viable pathway to decarbonization for fuel importers like Japan. Ammonia is characterized by high volumetric hydrogen density and has a well-established handling infrastructure deployed globally. IHI’s ammonia combustion technologies can directly use ammonia as a carbon-neutral fuel. This joint development with GE Vernova to decarbonize utility-scale power generation across the world is part of our mission to develop an ammonia value chain to accelerate the global transition to Net Zero.”