Monolith Materials to Invest $1B on a Large-Scale Carbon-Free Ammonia Plant

Monolith Materials announced it plans to use its proprietary process to produce approximately 275,000 metric tons per year of carbon-free anhydrous ammonia in the United States.

The company will invest $1 billion to build the new ammonia plant.

Current ammonia production practices account for approximately 1% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, or roughly the equivalent of the total emissions of the United Kingdom.

“Since its inception, Monolith Materials has been committed to developing solutions that are environmentally transformative, technologically advanced and financially viable,” said Rob Hanson, CEO of Monolith Materials and the company’s co-founder. “Being able to produce one of the world’s most essential products in a way that is carbon-free is a significant step not only for our company, but for the industry and even society as a whole.”

Anhydrous ammonia, the building block for essentially all nitrogen fertilizer, is used by a wide variety of industries. In the United States, the “Corn Belt”, stretching from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and neighboring states, imports over 1.7 million metric tons of ammonia.

Monolith is focused on providing locally sourced, clean anhydrous ammonia.

Monolith Materials’ carbon-free ammonia bonds Turquoise Hydrogen with nitrogen from the air using the Haber-Bosch process. Turquoise Hydrogen is derived using methane pyrolysis to split the methane molecules into carbon and hydrogen. The process generates no CO2.  Monolith projects that it will create 3 metric tons of cleanly made, valuable carbon black for every 1 metric ton of hydrogen it produces.

Combined, Monolith Materials’ carbon-free ammonia and carbon black production are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 1 million metric tons per year compared to traditional manufacturing processes.

Monolith Materials’ ammonia production facility will integrate with a new, 180,000 metric tons-per-year carbon black production facility known as Olive Creek 2 (OC2). Like the current OC1 facility, OC2 will be located in Hallam, Nebraska near many of the nation’s largest agricultural companies and run on 100% renewable electricity.  Monolith expects construction on the new facility to begin in 2021.

Monolith Materials, which was founded in 2012, invented and developed a process technology that converts natural gas into a material called carbon black and clean hydrogen. Monolith Materials is in the commissioning stages of Olive Creek 1 (OC1), its first commercial-scale carbon-free production facility which is designed to produce approximately 14,000 metric tons of carbon black per year. With the next phase of its facilities, the company plans to use the hydrogen generated via its manufacturing process to cleanly produce ammonia and potentially a wide array of other products that require hydrogen.

Monolith is backed by Azimuth Capital Management, Cornell Capital LLC, and Warburg Pincus.