Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Methanol, Ammonia and Formic Acid as Hydrogen Carriers

The potential use of hydrogen in fuel cell is gaining more traction due to its high energy density and absence of carbon emission during combustion to generate energy. Hence, hydrogen is widely considered as a cleaner alternative fuel when compared to conventional fossil fuels to help decarbonise traditionally carbon-intensive sectors such as power generation and transportation. However, hydrogen has a relatively low volumetric capacity, which poses safety concerns and technical challenges in both storage and transportation. To minimise and overcome some of these issues, methanol, ammonia and formic acid have been proposed as potential hydrogen carriers. With the aim of generating insights and providing a better understanding of the environmental performance of these three prospective hydrogen carriers, a comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is conducted to assess their potential environmental impacts such as life cycle carbon emissions of these three potential hydrogen carriers. 


Jonathan Low

Group Manager and Scientist at Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)