AMMONIA: Climate and environmental impacts of green ammonia (NH3)

The development of green ammonia (NH3) has recently gained wide interest due to its potential to decarbonize ammonia production and as a carbon-free solution for energy storage and transportation. Green ammonia production is purely based on renewable energy sources and no carbon is associated with its use, e.g. as a chemical fertilizer, or when ammonia is combusted in an engine. However, the production and use of ammonia come with other climate and environmental challenges due to its alteration of the Earth’s nitrogen cycle.

Bilde mangler beskrivelse

Green ammonia has a potential for carbon-free solution for energy storage and transportation. Illustration: Dall-E.


Start og sluttdato
1.6.2023 - 31.5.2027
Norges forskningsråd

Emissions of ammonia to air may lead to formation of fine particles through complex atmospheric chemistry and aerosol processes, affecting air quality and human health. The particles also affect climate through reflection of sunlight. Use of ammonia leads to emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a long-lived and potent greenhouse gas. N2O is currently also the dominant gas depleting the ozone layer, which protects us from harmful UV radiation. Atmospheric impacts due to nitrogen oxides (NOx) add to the complexity. According to the 2021 report of the IPCC, the representation of ammonia in models is rather unsatisfactory with great uncertainties. Before introducing new ammonia technologies on a large scale, we need to thoroughly understand current atmospheric impacts of ammonia.

The AMMONIA project aims to greatly enhance our knowledge on atmospheric impacts associated with both current and potential future use of ammonia. Comprehensive state-of-the-art modelling, carefully validated by groundbased and space-borne measurements, will be performed together with world leading experts. The integrated and consistent approach of AMMONIA will be further strengthened by feeding the multi-model results into a life-cycle assessment. The project aims to provide the industries, decision-makers and the scientific community with the necessary scientific knowledge on climate and environmental consequences of replacing conventional fossil fuels with green ammonia.