Ammonia-to-Power Fuel System Gets $139M
Amogy, a Brooklyn-based start-up, has completed its fourth fundraising round, receiving $139 million in Series B-1 funding to continue the development of its ammonia-to-power fuel system.
In 2020, the transportation sector accounted for 27% of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, making it the leading generator across economic sectors. The emissions are primarily from burning fossil fuels to run our vehicles.
Total emissions in 2020, 5,981 Million Metric Tons of CO2e. Image used courtesy of the EPA
Reducing transportation emissions is a critical aspect of efforts to combat climate change. Many automotive companies have established plans to have all-electric fleets by 2035, while others are looking to introduce decarbonized fuel alternatives.
Amogy was founded by four MIT Ph.D. alums in 2020 to decarbonize the transportation industry by converting ammonia into a sustainable fuel source.
Although ammonia may initially appear to be an unlikely candidate ‒ known for its bad odor and, when burned as a fuel, can release nitrogen oxides (NOx) which are harmful to human and animal health ‒ Amogy recognizes its potential as a clean and efficient fuel source.
CEO Seonghoon Woo has identified three key advantages to ammonia that led to its selection as a fuel source. First, ammonia is widely available at a low cost due to its established use in the agricultural industry. Second, it boasts the highest energy density among clean fuels, making it a potent and efficient power source. Finally, refueling ammonia is a process similar to refueling gasoline, facilitating faster infrastructure adoption and implementation.
Amogy’s pioneering technology combines the distinct characteristics of ammonia with the clean energy production capabilities of a hydrogen fuel cell, offering an innovative, sustainable, and high-performing alternative that has the potential to transform the heavy-duty transportation industry. This solution is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective, making it compelling for companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint while enhancing operational efficiency.
According to Woo, Amogy employs ammonia as a hydrogen carrier, thereby maintaining the use of fuel cell technology. Rather than utilizing hydrogen as a fuel source, ammonia is employed in the process. The company’s machiner converts ammonia into hydrogen on board the vehicle whenever necessary, after which the hydrogen is supplied to the fuel cell to generate electricity. This intuitive process enables efficient and sustainable energy generation, paving the way for a more environmentally conscious transportation sector.
Funding and Involvement
Amogy aims to introduce its novel technology into the shipping, trucking, and material-handling equipment industries, as well as to distributed energy systems and data centers.
Ammonia is a suitable choice for ocean-going and smaller ships due to its high volumetric energy density and manageable boiling point. It is already a widely traded commodity, with almost 200 ports shipping 20 million tons of the chemical annually. Existing transportation and storage infrastructure provides an ideal foundation for a future zero-carbon fuel value chain in the shipping industry.
Ammonia-powered tugboat to be released in late 2023. Image used courtesy of Amogy
Amogy, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and MOL PLUS Co have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to adopt Amogy’s ammonia-to-power systems for ships and establish an ammonia supply chain. To support the implementation of Amogy’s technology, MOL PLUS was one investor in Amogy’s Series B financing. MOL intends to explore potential collaborations with Amogy, including the use of ammonia-to-power systems on MOL-operated vessels and the establishment of an ammonia value chain.
Other investors in the Series B funding included SK Innovation, Temasek, Korea Zinc, Aramco Ventures, AP Ventures, Yanmar Ventures, Zeon Ventures, and DCVC. In total, Amogy received $139 million in this round.
Previous investments in the company include a $3 million seed led by AP Ventures, and $20 million Series A funding round in 2021, and a $46 million bridge funding in 2022.
The funding will allow the startup to advance its organizational development for commercialization, commence production of its ammonia-to-power technology, and launch its inaugural product in 2024.
The Future of Ammonia-powered Vehicles
Amogy intends to unveil its ammonia-based, zero-emissions tugboat in late 2023, which will be three times larger than the system tested on its ammonia-fueled semi-truck earlier this year. Following a successful voyage in upstate New York, Amogy plans to launch its inaugural commercial product in 2024.
World’s first ammonia-powered, zero-emission semi-truck. Fueling for 8 minutes gave the truck 900 kWh of total stored net electric energy. Image used courtesy of Amogy