Yes, fertilizers exist that don’t make use of fossil fuels; however, the use of petoreluaem based fertilizers have become a mainstay of modern industrial agriculture. This use of fossil fuels for fertilizer has led to the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint being as large as it is. The transportation of the fuel then as a fertilizer leads to large bills and emissions. Now, a farm in Kenya has started producing fertilizer using solar power. The process uses water to create hydrogen which then gets some nitrogen to form liquid ammonia, a key fertilizer.
Green ammonia, made from water using clean power, promises to curb the climate impact of fertilizer. If produced on site, it could have the added benefit of insulating growers from supply shocks.
“The average bag of fertilizer in sub-Saharan Africa travels 10,000 kilometers,” Talus founder Hiro Iwanaga told Bloomberg. With a small green ammonia plant, like the one coming online in Kenya, “you can locally produce a critical raw material, carbon free