The paper on ALKAMMONIA project’s environmental and economic assessment results. The paper is already available online and will be published in the “Journal of Power Sources” (5-year impact factor 5.257 ) in the issue of February 2015.

Reference: Cox, Brian and Treyer, Karin. 2015. Environmental and economic assessment of a cracked ammonia fuelled alkaline fuel cell for off-grid power applications. Journal of Power Sources 275 (2015) 322-335


Global mobile telecommunication is possible due to millions of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS). Nearly 1 million of these are operating off-grid, typically powered by diesel generators and therefore leading to significant CO2 emissions and other environmental burdens. A novel type of Alkaline Fuel Cell (AFC) powered by cracked ammonia is being developed for replacement of these generators. This study compares the environmental and economic performance of the two systems by means of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), respectively.

Results show that the production of ammonia dominates the LCA results, and that renewable ammonia production pathways greatly improve environmental performance. Sensitivity analyses reveal that the fuel cell parameters that most affect system cost and environmental burdens are cell power density and lifetime and system efficiency. Recycling of anode catalyst and electrode substrate materials is found to have large impacts on environmental performance, though without large cost incentives. For a set of target parameter values and fossil sourced ammonia, the AFC is calculated to produce electricity with lifecycle CO2eq emissions of 1.08 kg kWh-1, which is 23% lower than a diesel generator with electricity costs that are 14% higher in the same application.