AFC Energy Launches Ammonia-To-Hydrogen Cracker Demonstrator Plant in UK

By December 4, 2023 5   min read  (907 words)

December 4, 2023 |

2023 12 04 10 05 46
  • Ammonia Cracking Pilot Supports Unlocking of Global Hydrogen Trade  
  • First Ever “International- UK” Ammonia Fuel Value Chain Demonstration   

 AFC Energy plc (AIM: AFC) (“AFC Energy”), a leading provider of hydrogen power and generation technologies, is pleased to announce the unveiling of its world first modular ammonia cracker system demonstrating the production of hydrogen in the UK from ammonia procured from OCI Global ((Euronext: OCI).   

2023 12 04 07 59 56 1     


  •  AFC Energy commences largest “ammonia to hydrogen” modular cracker demonstration in operation worldwide.  
  •  Cracker system designed to deliver 140 tonnes of fuel cell grade (ISO) hydrogen per annum (400kg/day).
  •  Hydrogen from the cracker plant targeted for sale into AFC Energy’s UK H-Power Generator deployments.
  •  Tangible demonstration of ammonia’s role in supporting global hydrogen trade with ammonia supplied by OCI via its Rotterdam terminal, where it imports from its facilities in the US and MENA.
  •  Letter of Intent now signed with trading arm of large European energy company to market cracker adoption.
  •  Successful demonstration of pilot plant highlights the significant unrealised value in AFC Energy’s ammonia cracker technology.


 AFC Energy is pleased to announce the commencement of its first “ammonia to hydrogen” cracker demonstration plant.  Located in the UK using ammonia sourced from OCI Global, this will be world’s largest ammonia to hydrogen modular cracker demonstration in operation.

 The Hydrogen Council, in collaboration with McKinsey and Company, forecasts that 400 out of the 660 million tons of hydrogen needed for carbon neutrality by 2050 will be transported over long distances, with the global trade of hydrogen derivatives, including ammonia (comprising hydrogen and nitrogen) accounting for approximately 45%.

 The well-established supply chain for ammonia enables a lower barrier to its adoption globally as a hydrogen carrier fuel.  However, the lack of commercially available ammonia cracking technologies highlights an important challenge in the ammonia value chain. 

 Designed to produce fuel cell grade hydrogen at a rate of 400kg/day, AFC Energy’s cracker system consumes a small fraction of the power consumed by electrolysers, highlighting an ideal distributed hydrogen source potential, whether for use in stationary (including motive refueling) or maritime applications.

 The cracker demonstration plant has been designed, built and commissioned by AFC Energy over the course of 2023 leading to the successful first production of cracked hydrogen this week.  The demonstration plant, including purification technology, will now be operated and validated over several months with targeted ISO grade (99.97%) hydrogen production. 

 Hydrogen produced by AFC Energy from the plant could be supplied to customers of the Company’s H-Power Generators (including Speedy Hydrogen Solutions) and third party customers.   

 The Company’s newest cracker technology advancements (launched in March 2023) whose purity was validated by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory earlier this year, are expected to be retrofitted into the demonstration plant in 2024 (replacing the existing cracker technology), further improving cost and efficiency performance, and adding to its market leading characteristics which have to date been demonstrated at lab scale.    

 The ammonia used was supplied by OCI Global, a leading producer of hydrogen based products, including ammonia and methanol with ammonia production facilities in the Middle East, Africa, US and Europe. The ammonia sold to AFC Energy to be cracked into hydrogen for use in fuel cell applications, was delivered via OCI’s Port of Rotterdam terminal, where it imports its ammonia from the US and MENA.

 Engineering will start in 2024 to containerise the ammonia cracker platform, including purification technology, to enable mobile, distributed hydrogen production at the point of consumption with an initial focus on European and Asian markets. The containerised cracker platform then becomes a standalone product capable of being sold to hydrogen consumers, positioning AFC Energy at the forefront of this emerging global market. 

 The Company also expects to commence cracking green ammonia for the next stage of the project.

 AFC Energy has signed its first Letter of Intent with the trading arm of one of Europe’s largest energy companies to market the potential for ammonia as a hydrogen carrier fuel to its customers.  AFC Energy is currently in dialogue with multiple European project partners, demonstrating the high growth potential of the Company’s modular, scalable cracker technology.

 The Company believes the emergence of its ammonia cracking technology, alongside its existing fuel cell technology, has the potential to deliver material value.  The Company is exploring options to ensure the material value potential is properly recognized to the benefit of shareholders through industry partnerships and other strategic avenues. 

 Adam Bond, Chief Executive, AFC Energy, said: 

“With an ammonia cracker offering market leading efficiency, low power consumption and the production of fuel cell grade hydrogen, AFC Energy’s first pilot project is a major step forward in unlocking the barriers of hydrogen logistics and transport. The cracker system, in containerised form, will be capable of replication across Europe and Asia with our ability to generate low cost, decarbonised hydrogen from internationally traded green and blue ammonia being a key step forward in the evolution of the global hydrogen market.” 


About AFC Energy

 AFC Energy plc is a leading provider of hydrogen energy solutions, to provide clean electricity for on and off grid power applications. The Company’s fuel cell technology is now deployable as electric vehicle chargers, off-grid decentralised power systems for construction and temporary power with emerging opportunities across maritime, data centres and rail as part of a portfolio approach to the decarbonisation of society’s growing electrification needs.



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