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Amogy tests first-ever ammonia-powered zero-emission semi truck

Amogy tests first-ever ammonia-powered zero-emission semi truck
Photo courtesy of Amogy

Decarbonising heavy-duty trucking has been challenging, with alternatives like battery power lacking the energy density needed to replace diesel for larger vehicles and long-distance routes with minimal downtimes. 

Amogy Inc., a pioneer of emission-free, energy-dense ammonia power solutions, announced the successful testing of the first-ever ammonia-powered, zero-emission semi truck. After integrating its technology into a 5 kilowatt (kW) drone in July 2021 and 100kW John Deere tractor in May 2022, Amogy has quickly scaled its ammonia-to-power technology to 300 kW. 

Following an eight-minute-long fueling, the semi truck, having 900 kilowatt hours (kWh) of total stored net electric energy, was tested for several hours on the campus of Stony Brook University in New York. Later this month, the Amogy team will pursue a full-scale testing on a test track to showcase the truck’s performance under various real-world operating conditions.

This latest successful presentation further proves ammonia to be a viable, sustainable solution for the otherwise hard to abate heavy-duty trucking industries, which account for 23% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. 

Founded in 2020 by four MIT PhD alumni with a shared vision, Amogy aims to enable the decarbonisation of the heavy-duty transportation sector, accelerating the global journey towards Net Zero 2050. The company’s investors include Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, SK, Saudi Aramco and DCVC. 

Amogy’s ammonia-to-power system can enable the industry’s transition away from diesel-powered engines and to alternative fuel-to-power technologies. Unlocking ammonia’s potential, Amogy’s proprietary technology enables the on-board cracking of ammonia into hydrogen, which is then sent directly into a fuel cell to power the vehicle. Liquid ammonia has an energy density that is approximately three times greater than compressed hydrogen and it requires significantly less energy, making it cost-effective to store and transport.

Ammonia presents a clear path to a zero-carbon fuel value chain across all heavy duty transportation sectors thanks to existing transportation and storage infrastructure. A global commodity, 200 million tons of ammonia are already produced and transported each year, making it an ideal and accessible alternative fuel.

“Beyond its incredible energy-density and liquid phase at an ambient temperature, ammonia is an optimal fuel to achieve rapid decarbonisation of heavy transportations because it is available globally with existing infrastructure already in place,” said Seonghoon Woo, chief executive officer at Amogy. 

“This achievement not only showcases Amogy’s technology as an accessible and scalable solution for trucking, it also highlights the capabilities and dedication of our outstanding team. First it was an ammonia-powered drone, then a tractor and now a truck. In the near future, we look forward to further scaling and tackling other hard-to-abate sectors, such as global shipping.” 

Following this successful freight truck testing, Amogy will continue to pursue strategic partnerships across the global shipping and transportation industries. This includes the company’s 1 megawatt (MW) ammonia-powered tugboat to be presented later in 2023, and other commercial deployments with partners including a recently-announced inland barge retrofit project with Southern Devall. With several successful technology demonstrations completed and a dual presence in the U.S. and in Europe, Amogy is making solid progress toward its goal of reducing more than 5 billion metric tons of CO2-eq emission by 2040.