Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Startup profile: Amogy

In November 2020, four young graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology banded together with the foundation of Amogy. Seonghoon Woo, Young Suk Jo, Hyunho Kim and Jongwon Choi have since been joined by over 140 employees as their company has expanded from its New York headquarters to additional offices in Houston and Norway.  

With cumulative investment of over $200 million, Amogy claims to have unlocked a powerful source of carbon-free energy to be used as a fuel for heavy industries. Its latest fundraising round was led by SK Innovation, with global support from the likes of Aramco Ventures, Temasek, MOL PLUS and Korea Zinc. 

Company mission:  

Amogy’s mission is to unlock the potential of liquid ammonia, creating a clean source of energy and accelerating the net zero transition.  

“Ammonia serves as a viable alternative to traditional fossil fuels with the potential to power various industries while significantly reducing their environmental impact,” says Maciek Lukawski, Amogy’s head of strategy and business development. “The development of ammonia is a crucial component in establishing global energy security, which is a top priority for governments worldwide.” 

The goal may be ambitious, but it is unquestionably worthwhile. With potential applications in hard-to-abate sectors such as commercial transportation, ammonia’s use as a carbon-free fuel could deliver a major reduction in global carbon emissions. 

How does it work? 

Amogy’s solution is a compact chemical reactor that splits liquid ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen. According to Lukawski, the incorporation of a high-activity catalyst ensures that the reaction takes place more efficiently than could be achieved by competing designs.  

Once the cracking process is complete, the hydrogen can be used to generate power via a conventional fuel cell. Essentially, the company intends to leverage hydrogen’s benefits while overcoming its limitations through the exceptional storage capabilities of liquid ammonia. 

“This proprietary design leverages the superior physical characteristics of liquid ammonia with the performance advantages of hydrogen,” Lukawski explains. “Because it can easily be stored as a liquid, ammonia proves to be a superior choice over hydrogen storage in terms of affordability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.” 

Target market 

With its high energy density and comparably simple storage requirements, ammonia has been championed for its potential use in the combustion-driven applications of industries such as shipping. With the introduction of new regulations, targets and penalties, these industries are ramping up their search for renewable, low carbon alternatives. 

“The International Maritime Organization has adopted ambitious emissions-reduction targets, including a goal to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of global fleets 40% by 2030,” Lukawski points out. “To achieve these goals, commercially viable zero-emissions vessels must begin entering global fleets very soon, as most vessels have a lifetime of 20-30 years.  With over 150 global ports capable of storing ammonia in liquid form, ammonia is an ideal carbon-free fuel solution for maritime vessels.” 

The maritime sector is of particular interest to Amogy, though its products will also be targeted towards other forms of commercial transportation. Having tested its technology with a 5 kWh drone, a 100 kW tractor and a 300 kW truck, its next milestone will be the launch of an ammonia-powered tugboat. The 1 MW vessel is expected to be ready by the end of 2023, followed by the company’s first commercial offering in 2024. 

A rendering of Amogy’s forthcoming tugboat.

Infrastructure remains a challenge 

“For ammonia to be adopted as a renewable fuel, supporting infrastructure will need to be put in place,” Lukawski acknowledges. This is a big challenge, he says, but it is made slightly easier by the fact that more than 200 million tons of ammonia are already being produced and transported annually for use as common fertiliser. 

Ultimately, Lukawski believes that the biggest challenge is not simply the lack of infrastructure but rather the limited awareness of ammonia’s potential. With a better understanding of the opportunity at hand, policymakers may be incentivised to accelerate new developments and promote the adoption of alternative fuels. 

A collaborative approach to continuous growth 

“We would like to see more collaboration between Amogy and policymakers,” Lukawski proclaims, emphasising the need for greater awareness. “Fortunately, in other areas of the world like Europe, we’re seeing more regulatory acceptance of ammonia as a fuel, and we’re seeing a lot of policy movement around the world in the right direction.” 

Following through on this collaborative approach, Amogy will partner with various players in the maritime industry to encourage the adoption of ammonia fuels. Already, the company has been working with Yara Clean Ammonia to commercialise low carbon ammonia as a well-to-wheel solution. 

More from SG Voice

Latest Posts