FAQ - Grannus :: Zero emissions combined fertilizer and thermal power plant
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How does a Grannus Process plant differ from a traditional Steam Methane Reformation plant (or Auto Thermal Reformer)?

The fundamental difference is that the Grannus process uses a Partial Oxidation (POx) reaction where natural gas is combined with a ‘lean’ supply of oxygen which prevents full combustion. In this method, 100% of the process plant’s natural gas input is used as feedstock in the production of syngas (hydrogen and CO). Further, because the process does not need to burn natural gas as fuel to produce heat, Grannus plants have no emission stack – hence near zero SOX and NOX emissions. This yields clear benefits when comparing this to an SMR process, whereby as much as 20% of the natural gas is burned, with the resulting air emissions, to make the heat required to drive the reforming reaction. These differences result in SMRs requiring more natural gas per ton of hydrogen produced as well as much greater air pollution. Other advantages of a Grannus Process plant are faster restarts in the event of a shutdown, lower maintenance costs (no reformer catalysts to replace), and higher average uptime.

How much ammonia can be made from a 100 metric tonne/day hydrogen plant?

The ratio of hydrogen to ammonia is around 5.5X where a 100 metric tonne/day hydrogen plant would produce around 550 tonne/day of ammonia. The hydrogen product can be used for multiple purposes with a portion being sold into the hydrogen mobility market and the balance used to produce ammonia.

Why has Grannus standardized on 50 and 100 metric tonne/day hydrogen-based plant sizes? Can Grannus expand it’s plant capacity beyond 100 metric tonnes of hydrogen?

Grannus has chosen to standardize its plant capacities to maximize the value of modular plant fabrication techniques and to achieve ‘production line’ economies in equipment supply, centralized stocking of spares, reuse of engineering and common operating procedures from plant to plant. In so doing it drives capital and operating costs lower and enables sharing of best practices and plant improvements across a fleet of plants. Modular design reduces construction times and costs over stick-built plants while increased capacities can be achieved by running multiple production trains in parallel.

What does Grannus do with the CO2 that is produced during the production process?

Grannus Process plants produce valuable beverage grade CO2 that can be sold to bottlers or used in the production of dry ice. Depending on project location, another option is geologic sequestration. The latter option enables the production of “blue” ammonia with a zero, or near zero, carbon footprint. Additionally, if a project can utilize renewable natural gas as feedstock, it would enable the production of ‘green’ hydrogen/ammonia with a negative carbon footprint.

How does the CAPEX and OPEX of a Grannus plant compare to a comparable sized SMR based plant?

The capital cost of a Grannus is equivalent to an SMR based design on an installed price per ton basis. Operating costs are the same, or better, depending on electricity costs.

Who are the vendors for major equipment supply (ASU, POX, Ammonia Loop, balance of plant)?

Multiple Tier 1 equipment suppliers exist for all major pieces of plant equipment. Grannus Process plants can achieve an LSTK EPC contract from any qualified EPC.

What are CI scores and LCFS credits and why are they important?

CI – Carbon Intensity and LCFS – Low Carbon Fuel Standard are acronyms related to CO2. The lower the CI score, the lower the carbon ‘footprint’ of the produced hydrogen. This scoring affects pricing of mobility hydrogen, and potentially ammonia in the future, as well as availability of tax credits (e.g., 45Q) or other government incentive programs (e.g., LCFS) that are available for low carbon energy producers.

Why should I care about Ammonia?

World food production depends on fertilizer; specifically Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K), or NPK. The P and the K are mined from the ground. The N is manufactured in massive quantities in large plants worldwide. The mother product they make is ammonia fertilizer, from which a myriad of additional downstream fertilizer products can be produced. The widespread application of these nitrogen fertilizer products doubles food crop production, which means that around half of global food production is a result of this single commodity.

Fundamentally, ammonia is made from nitrogen atoms harvested from the air, which are combined with hydrogen atoms, which can be harvested from water, natural gas, or other sources. Traditional reformer-based production of N is cost effective, but pollution heavy. Current electrolyzer-based production is climate friendly, but so expensive it would have major negative effects on global food security and affordability if widely adopted. What is needed is a cost-effective and climate friendly alternative. Grannus Process plants fit this need.

Can ammonia be used as fuel?

There is a major effort being undertaken to reduce the climate impact of the global shipping industry. One key area of innovation in this space is the replacement of the engines that drive container ships with new engines that utilize ammonia as fuel instead of hugely polluting bunker fuel (which is the standard today). If this effort succeeds, the already large global market for ammonia is expected to double over the next few decades. Grannus Process plants are uniquely positioned to help meet this demand given their excellent economic and environmental advantages.

How does hydrogen fit into Grannus’ plans?

The front end of an ammonia fertilizer plant produces hydrogen (which is then combined with nitrogen to make ammonia). This means that ammonia fertilizer plants are well positioned to support the nascent mobility hydrogen markets. California is a world leader in this space with major efforts being undertaken to support hydrogen fuel cell cars, including the addition of numerous filling stations for those cars, as well as sufficient clean hydrogen manufacturing in the state to fuel them. Grannus is uniquely positioned to help support the supply of hydrogen for mobility both in California and beyond.

Can Grannus compete on a cost basis with a ‘World-Scale’ sized plant?

Yes, assuming transportation is considered. Grannus’ strategy is to locate its plants near the end user thereby reducing transportation cost and risk. While a 2,000 ton per day ammonia plant will benefit from production cost scale economies relative to any 500 tonne/day plant –transporting ammonia the additional distances needed to support a larger plant erodes production cost advantage from size, in most cases.

What is a typical construction time for a Grannus plant? How does permitting impact this?

From construction start to commercial operation is 18-24 months based on site specific requirements. This shortened construction cycle is achieved through leveraging common engineering, modular design with off-site fabrication and contractual relationships with key equipment suppliers. Air permitting is also shortened, or even eliminated, due to having no emissions stack and extremely low levels of criteria pollutants (and in some cases, 100% carbon sequestration).

What is Grannus’ business model (license, develop, operate, own, etc.)?

Grannus builds, owns and operates plants based on its process design. Grannus will also co-develop and/or license its process design to 3rd party developers or companies who wish to pursue independent projects.

Who is CALAMCO and what is the nature of the offtake agreement Grannus has with them?

The California Ammonia Company (CALAMCO), is a coop that supplies 900 grower members with ammonia fertilizer, representing around 98% of agricultural demand in the state. The offtake is a 30-year take-or-pay with indexed pricing with a floor. CALAMCO currently receives their ammonia from Trinidad & Tobago and sought out Grannus to build a plant to meet California’s strict emissions standards and eliminate transportation costs/risks from T&T. CALAMCO is a Series A investor in Grannus.

When does Grannus expect to secure land in the Stockton area for supply to CALAMCO’s cryogenic storage facility?

Grannus expects to have land under contract by year mid-year 2023 that will meet project requirements for zoning, feedstock supply, and sequestration access. Grannus will update its FEED study and it expects to begin construction as early as Q1 2024 and be operational by Q4 2025.

Does Grannus have plans for sale of ammonia to the emerging maritime ammonia fuel market?

See #9 for background. Grannus is in discussion with several potential offtakers who have the intent in converting their fleets to green or blue ammonia with first ships coming on-line in 2025. Grannus will be well situated with production capacity in California for supplying Pacific Rim demand.