Beowulf Energy LLC announced it has acquired the rights to N-Flex distributed ammonia technology — a process that converts low-cost natural gas or stranded electrical power to high-value nitrogen products. Production of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer can be produced at the point of demand.
Ammonia production was commercialized 99 years ago and until now has focused on developing larger mega plants in gas rich nations like Trinidad, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has become a major ammonia importer and now faces shortages after 40 percent of U.S. production was dismantled during the past decade as U.S. natural gas prices spiked.
N-Flex’s small-scale distributed ammonia production is positioned to succeed under the new conditions of low-cost natural gas, high-price ammonia and extreme logistics challenges for the transport of ammonia to the farmers that use over 90 percent of the supply.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission recently approved a $1 million grant to N-Flex to deploy its nimble and highly efficient mobile units to convert North Dakota’s flared gas into ammonia fertilizer. North Dakota’s oil boom has outpaced the infrastructure needed to capture associated gas causing over 30 percent of the state’s energy-rich gas to be flared.
Simultaneously, farmers in North Dakota and across the U.S. are facing ammonia shortages and paying record levels for imported ammonia. North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms stated that the N-Flex technology is a win for everyone, describing it as an “incredible synergy between North Dakota’s two largest industries, agriculture and oil.”
The N-Flex technology was developed on an exclusive basis with Ammonia Casale and Proton Ventures, and Beowulf has the exclusive rights to deploy these small scale units in North America. “Beowulf recognizes the importance of distributed ammonia production and sees N-Flex’s approach as the leading technology to convert gas to liquids to benefit both energy and agricultural markets, said Paul Prager, founder and CEO of Beowulf Energy.
“We are thrilled to expand our vision to utilize the independence created by domestic shale oil production to bring food security back to the U.S. where we currently import over 70 percent of the fertilizer needed to feed our country,” said Neil Cohn, founder of N-Flex. Cohn will join Beowulf to continue developing the distributed ammonia business.
Although North Dakota natural gas is referenced in this announcement, Cohn also noted the availability of low-cost natural gas nationally, which makes an N-Flex small-scale ammonia production facility appropriate for many ag retailers to contract for construction.