Southern Devall tank barge will test bed Amogy ammonia-to-power system

Written by Nick Blenkey
Tank barge will test bed Amogy solution

Under a new partnership with Amogy, a Southern Devall tank barge, similar to the one pictured, will be retrofitted with Amogy’s zero-emission, ammonia-to-power system.

Brooklyn, N.Y. based high tech start-up Amogy Inc. reports that its innovative ammonia-to-power system for maritime applications is to have its first commercial application in a U.S. inland waterways tank barge.

The Amogy power system generates electricity by cracking the liquid ammonia to hydrogen, and using the produced hydrogen to generate electrical power through proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells.

Now Amogy has announced a strategic partnership and technology deployment project with Southern Devall, formerly Southern Towing Company & Devall Towing.

Southern Devall specializes in transporting bulk liquid chemicals and fertilizer products throughout the Mississippi River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway System and currently services a significant portion of the ammonia production market, delivering ammonia to terminals for export and to agricultural and chemical customers along the inland waterways.

Amogy’s proprietary ammonia-to-power system converts ammonia into hydrogen for use in fuel cells or as a more energy dense method of long-distance hydrogen transportation.

The system, already demonstrated in a farming tractor and aerial drone, is now being scaled for use in larger applications, including ships and ammonia bunkering barges to support the maritime industry’s decarbonization efforts.

The new partnership will provide Amogy with access to both a vast ammonia infrastructure and the Southern Devall team’s expertise in handling ammonia and maritime operations.

Amogy and Southern Devall have initiated work on their first technology deployment, a retrofit of a barge that is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2023.

An Amogy powerpack, rather than a diesel genset, will generate the power needed to reliquify ammonia as it heats up over the course of a voyage. The Amogy system will keep the ammonia tank pressure low, enabling Southern Devall to deliver ammonia to customers upon arrival and increase the utilization and profitability of its fleet.

Amogy’s system has already passed initial safety reviews and recently received Approval in Principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register, a maritime classification society, for a powerpack design similar to the one the team will look to deploy in this project.

Following the barge integration and demonstration, Amogy and Southern Devall plan to pursue retrofits of additional barges and tugboats, creating an ammonia-powered fleet that includes cargo transportation vessels as well as bunkering barges for efficient, emission-free refueling of ammonia-powered ships.

“Southern Devall shares Amogy’s passion for driving innovation, making them the perfect strategic partner to support our commercial entrance to the U.S. maritime market,” said Seonghoon Woo, CEO of Amogy. “In collaboration with their team, we’ll have a first-mover advantage in this space through expanded access to the ammonia infrastructure and industry knowledge, setting us on track to demonstrate our platform’s operational capabilities in large maritime vessels.”

“Amogy has built an impressive platform that our team believes is an ideal solution for introducing cost-efficient, zero-carbon bunkering and powering operations to the inland barge industry,” said Sam Lewis, vice president of engineering at Southern Devall. “Adopting their solution at scale in our fleet has both environmental and economic benefits through increased delivery volume. We look forward to demonstrating the value of ammonia-to-power solutions in our first project with Amogy and introducing industry and channel partners to these innovations.”

While the inland waterways remain the most environmentally-efficient way of transporting goods, noneless the inland shipping sector is responsible for an estimated 6.2 million tons of CO2 emissions each year. Amogy and Southern Devall say their partnership will demonstrate scalable, cost-effective solutions for refurbishing fleets to improve quality and introduce zero-carbon power and bunkering capabilities. Current and future projects and demonstrations the companies are pursuing aim to enable commercialization and broad adoption of ammonia-to-power technologies and keep the industry on track to meet the shipping industry’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050.

Founded in 2020 by four MIT Ph.D. alumni with a shared vision, Amogy’s investors include Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, AP Ventures, SK Innovation, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and DCVC.

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