H2Retake™ Ammonia cracking technology

A highly Efficient Proven Solution for Ammonia Cracking at Scale

As industries scramble to decarbonize, the demand for a low-carbon high-purity energy product has never been greater. And as a multitude of alternative energy solutions floods the market, the search for a high-quality energy vector that checks all the boxes is a highly sought-after commodity.

One such solution gathering increasing attention, particularly from hydrogen applications and thermal power generation, is ammonia, specifically green and blue NH3. This energy-dense hydrogen carrier is easy to store, easy to transport, and has vital transportation infrastructure already in place. And a critical step to unlocking this ultra-low carbon energy carrier's potential remains in ammonia cracking.


H2Retake™ Ammonia Cracking Technology Benefits

  • High-efficiency conversion of ammonia feed to high-purity H2
  • Achieving a market leading energy efficiency of 96%
  • Building on 30+ years of industrial experience with large scale ammonia cracking
  • Available for a 100-3,400 MTPD ammonia capacity range 
  • H2 quality as per customer requirement
  • Off-gases can be fed back into the cracker as fuel for the endothermic reaction
  • Any commercial-grade ammonia feed source can be used

Cracking the ammonia value chain

H2Retake™ technology answers the market’s need for an energy-efficient ammonia cracking solution for large-scale single-train capacities. And with 30+ years of operational experience, we are the only company that has a successful and proven track record with large-scale ammonia cracking.

Our versatile solutions can support both fully green and blue ammonia value chains. No matter the input, the outcome remains a high-quality energy product.

The H2Retake™ fired ammonia cracker process
Our H2Retake™ ammonia cracking solution incorporates a process that reconverts ammonia into hydrogen in 4 essential steps:

  • Ammonia pretreatment

  • Industrially proven fired ammonia cracking

  • Integrated advanced recovery section

  • Final purification

How it works

The heart of the process – the cracker

The heart of the process is the TOPSOE™ industrially proven fired ammonia cracker technology building on 30+ years of industrial experience with large scale ammonia cracking. Catalyst tubes loaded with TOPSOE™'s high performance ammonia-cracking catalyst enables highly efficient cracking into a mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen according to the reaction:

2 NH3 (+ heat) ↔ N2 + 3 H2

The heat for the reaction can come from an externally supplied fuel or from the ammonia via the cracked gas.

Advanced recovery section

The novel application of ammonia cracking as part of a zero or low-carbon emission energy supply mandates a highly energy-efficient ammonia cracking process. This is achieved by the advanced recovery section ensuring highly efficient use of the ammonia feed for the product and as a source of energy for cracking reaction. Efficient heat recovery from the fired ammonia cracker is achieved in this section to optimize the hydrogen product yield. If relevant for your project, the hydrogen yield can be further increased by the use of an externally supplied alternative fuel to drive the cracking reaction.

Purification to match your needs

The purification step for cracked ammonia gas removes the nitrogen present in the compound– achieving a high-quality hydrogen product. The purification section is designed to meet customer requirements with a typical hydrogen recovery rate of 96 -97% at a hydrogen purity of 99.97%. The PSA off-gas containing all remaining hydrogen is used as fuel to fire the ammonia cracker, maximizing overall efficiency.

Industrial references

Process No. plants Max ammonia capacity
Ammonia cracking 5 2,400 MTPD
Fired reformers for hydrogen and ammonia plants >330 >3,000 MTPD ammonia or syngas

A Proven Catalyst and a Proven Track Record– Fit for Purpose

We are the market's leading and preferred ammonia synthesis technology and catalyst supplier and offer a range of proven highly efficient fit for purpose ammonia cracking catalysts.

Paired with our extensive experience in ammonia cracking, we provide you with the whole package regarding process design, catalysts, proprietary equipment, and expertise. As a result, we will help you maximize efficiency and develop a solid foundation for your operational future.

Next generation ammonia cracking – fit for the future

The market for ammonia cracking is expected to undergo rapid developments in the coming years. TOPSOE™ supports this development by having a commercially available solution that can be contracted now but also by offering the below IP protected development opportunities

  • Developments and project specific optimization of the fired ammonia cracking technology
  • Development of autothermal ammonia cracking technology for larger capacities
  • Development of electrically heated ammonia cracking technology

If you want to learn more about how H2Retake™ technology can transform your business or hear more about our current development opportunities and how they may support your future business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.