Metacon’s subsidiary Helbio has delivered a first “ammonia cracker” prototype according to plan to the Norwegian company Pherousa Green Technologies AS (Pherousa). At the same time, Metacon through Helbio will increase its shareholding from 5% to 10% in Pherousa. Ammonia-to-hydrogen conversion rates greater than 99,3% was achieved irrespectively of load and the hydrogen purification unit was able to remove 100% of the ammonia traces, satisfying maximum level of NH3 according to ISO 14687:2019 and enabling feed of an LT PEM fuel cell.

Pherousa has received exclusive licensed rights to market the ammonia-to-hydrogen cracker in the maritime sector world-wide, as well as rights to the required Helbio intellectual property for the ammonia cracking technology for use in the same (maritime) sector world-wide. Metacon holds rights to serve as the supplier of the core reactor (cracking) modules to Pherousa. Metacon also retains exclusive rights to this technology for the production of hydrogen from ammonia in all other applications outside the maritime market including on-land hydrogen storage.

The need to rapidly clean up all parts of the transport sector is huge and urgent in order to limit increased global warming. Calculations has shown that if the global shipping industry would be treated as a country, it would occupy place number six among the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters. Therefore, the shipping industry in many places of the world is facing a rapidly increasing regulatory-, tax- and market driven pressure to decarbonise.

Ammonia is interesting in the context of green fuels as it is a very capable, highly available, easily liquified, and non-explosive carrier of hydrogen. The ammonia molecule consists of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms (NH3) and is thus, free from carbon. For this reason, ammonia is commonly referred to as the key to enabling a “carbon free economy”. Furthermore, ammonia contains over four times as much hydrogen per volume unit as highly compressed hydrogen gas. It has however not been very easy chemically to find a suitable technical solution for splitting the ammonia molecule effectively to yield usable hydrogen.

Pherousa therefore initiated collaboration with Helbio for constructing and manufacturing an effective cracker proof-of-concept system. It is this first prototype under the partnership that has now been delivered with very promising results. This breakthrough could allow the shipping industry to use ammonia as a hydrogen storage medium within the global shipping market, providing the industry with a long sought after zero emission propulsion technology.

Christer Wikner, President and CEO of Metacon said: “We are excited about or collaboration and our participation in Pherousa as well as about the emerging green ammonia market. The ammonia-based hydrogen economy holds great potential both for decarbonising shipping and for energy storage in general. We are looking forward to taking the next step in the scale-up towards commercialisation together with Pherousa“.

Vasilis Besikiotis, CEO Pherousa Green Technologies commented: “Pherousa’s technology for emission-free shipping based on ammonia and hydrogen could present the first truly zero emission and viable solution in the world for the maritime sector. We are very happy to see the results and promising performance of the first cracker developed together with Helbio and we are looking forward to the next steps in the collaboration.”

This information is information that Metacon AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person below, on 17 May 2022 at 15:30 CEST.

For further information, please contact Christer Wikner, by phone +46 (0)707-647389 or e-mail

About Metacon AB (publ)

Metacon AB (publ) develops and manufactures energy systems for the production of hydrogen, heat and electricity. The core products are based on a patented technology that, through so called catalytic steam reforming of biogas or other hydrocarbons, generates hydrogen. The development of Metacon’s reforming products is done within the wholly owned subsidiary Helbio, which is a spin-off from the University of Patra, Greece and was founded by Professor Xenophon Verykios in 2001. From the onset, the business has focused on catalysts and advanced reforming for high-efficiency hydrogen production.

Metacon also offers system solutions for the production of hydrogen through electrolysis, a large and globally growing area for small and large-scale production of green hydrogen. Electrolysis is a process of starting and driving a chemical reaction to split water by adding electricity. If the electricity used is non-fossil and green, the hydrogen will also become completely climate neutral and green. Green hydrogen can be used in, for example, the transport sector, the basic industry and the real estate sector with a better environment and climate as a result.

About Pherousa

Pherousa Green Technologies AS is a privately held Norwegian technology company developing a unique zero emission solution system for the shipping industry using ammonia as hydrogen storage medium. Pherousa holds significant technology and maritime market experience and intends to develop and commercialise full-scale ammonia-hydrogen propulsion systems together with partners.

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