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Cardiff engineer appointed as Director of the Green Ammonia Working Group UK

14 February 2022

Agustin Valera-Medina

The Ammonia Energy Association has appointed Dr Agustin Valera-Medina of the School of Engineering as the Director of the Green Ammonia Working Group UK.

The Ammonia Energy Association is a global non-profit industry association with more than 200 members that promotes the responsible use of ammonia in a sustainable energy economy. The Green Ammonia Working Group has been created to act in support of the Ammonia Energy Association, which involves over 30 international experts from industry and academia.

Zero carbon fuels are crucial for sustainable and secure future energy systems. Electrification based on renewables is key to a net-zero carbon economy, and batteries will be an important component. However, batteries cannot do everything. They won’t let us fly long distances or power ships or trains. And they cannot power an entire economy, such as India or the UK, for days without wind or sunshine. For these tasks, we need new fuels that do not contain carbon, are easy and safe to store and use, and are cheap to produce.

The Green Ammonia Working Group supports zero-carbon energy systems by replacing carbon-based fuels with nitrogen-based fuels, which can be produced at the lowest cost in regions with the best renewable resources and traded globally for dependable, inexpensive, and clean transformation into energy or feedstocks.

Dr Valera-Medina will take up the position of Director of the Green Ammonia Working Group UK in early 2022. His plans for the role include the dissemination of the subject to industries where heat, power and cooling are needed, particularly where ammonia could be used to replace fossil fuels. The work will create new multidisciplinary areas and jobs, research positions, and PhD opportunities that will enjoy support from industry and key academic players in the utilisation of ammonia for decarbonisation. The group will also tackle key aspects of the use of ammonia, with a special focus on the development of new methodologies and devices capable of mitigating the environmental impacts and toxicity of the chemical.

Dr Valera-Medina interests include heat transfer and alternative fuels, especially ammonia, for their use in power, heat and propulsion generation via combustion systems. He has been part of various scientific boards and international panels, chairing sessions and moderating large industrial panels on the topic of ‘Ammonia for Direct Use’. He has supported the preparation of two Royal Society Policy Briefings on Green Ammonia. He is currently chair of the Combustion and Emissions working group of the Ammonia Energy Association. Dr Valera-Media is the main author of the book 'Techno-economic challenges of ammonia as energy vector' (Elsevier), and Editor in Chief of the new journal Ammonia Energy.

Find out more about Green Ammonia at the Green Ammonia Working Group UK website.

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