Several Gulf states are experimenting with blue ammonia and carbon capture technology, which has energy-related potential but a mixed impact on the environment.
Qatar’s state-owned energy company announced a new blue ammonia energy project Thursday.
QatarEnergy affiliates agreed to develop the roughly $1 billion Ammonia-7 project. The facility will be able to capture and sequester 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, supply 35 megawatts of renewable electricity via solar panels, and market the product as blue ammonia, the official Qatar News Agency reported.
What is blue ammonia? Blue ammonia is derived from hydrocarbons such as crude oil. The key criteria is that the carbon dioxide emitted during the ammonia formation is captured and stored, as opposed to being released into the atmosphere, according to the Texas-based tech company KBR.
Why it matters: Blue ammonia has the potential to be less harmful to the environment due to the carbon capture. However, the process itself typically only removes 90% of the carbon dioxide, according to the International Energy Agency. Blue ammonia also requires a relatively large amount of carbon to produce, according to the US Department of Energy.
Know more: The QatarEnergy announcement follows other oil and gas-rich Gulf countries experimenting with blue ammonia and related energy projects. In June, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) sent a type of blue ammonia to Japan. The following July, ADNOC signed a partnership with France’s TotalEnergies to work on carbon capture.
This week, the Saudi electric company Alfanar signed a deal to develop a green ammonia facility in Egypt. Green ammonia is produced using renewable energy.
The Omani startup 44.01 also launched a blue ammonia project in March.