Collaborating with industry to find new solutions for fertiliser
The John Lewis Partnership is working in collaboration with a range of industry and academic partners on a Government funded project that is investigating low carbon methods of fertiliser production.
The project will design and build an integrated pilot-scale system for ammonia production and urea synthesis which will be deployed at Leckford, the UK farm owned by Waitrose, to supply renewable fertiliser. This is important because the current method of producing ammonia from natural gas is responsible for approximately 5% of global natural gas consumption (around 2% of world energy).
Recent work has shown it is feasible to produce ammonia using renewable energy, where hydrogen is produced by the electrolysis of water and nitrogen captured from air.
The plant funded by this project will demonstrate that by producing fertiliser at a smaller scale, close to the point of use, it will be possible to de-centralise fertiliser production. The result will remove the need to use energy to dry the product for transport; it will reduce GHG emissions associated with fertiliser production and transport; improve UK food security; and, provide revenues from sales of the plant equipment.