In a significant stride towards sustainability, Danish startup NitroVolt has secured a pre-seed funding round of €750,000, led by Swedish venture firm BackingMinds, to revolutionize the ammonia production industry. This funding aims to amplify the development of NitroVolt’s “Nitrolyzer” unit, a groundbreaking innovation designed to produce ammonia in a green and cost-effective manner using only air, water, and electricity. The move comes after NitroVolt’s recognition with the prestigious Breakthrough Energy Fellowship Grant in September 2023, underscoring the startup’s promising approach to tackling one of the most pressing environmental challenges.

Ammonia, a cornerstone chemical essential for global food production, is currently at the heart of environmental concerns due to its carbon-heavy production process. Accounting for nearly 2% of global CO2 emissions, traditional ammonia production methods pose a significant threat to the planet’s health. NitroVolt’s solution presents a timely response to the urgent need for sustainable practices within the industry, especially given the looming targets to reduce emissions by 37% by 2030 and by 96% by 2050 amid a projected three-fold increase in demand for low-emission ammonia.

“As the world transitions away from fossil fuels, ammonia production is set to go through a tectonic shift. NitroVolt’s unique technology is in a great position to take advantage of the opportunity and we’re incredibly excited to partner up with Suzanne and Mattia on this journey,”

says Jasenko Hadzic, Principal at BackingMinds

Geopolitics matters

The geopolitical landscape further emphasizes the necessity for NitroVolt’s innovation. With major ammonia exporters like Russia, China, and the Middle East facing increased scrutiny amidst geopolitical tensions, the quest for local and green ammonia production has intensified. This demand was particularly highlighted during the Ukraine/Russia conflict, which saw ammonia prices soar by 650%, thereby jeopardizing global food security.

“Our technology makes it possible to produce ammonia locally and puts the end user in control of the production. This means that the production becomes resilient to supply chain volatility and green at the same time – something that doesn’t exist on the market today,”

says Suzanne Zamany Andersen, CEO & Co-founder of NitroVolt.

NitroVolt stands out in the green technology arena with its container-sized “Nitrolyzer” system, capable of producing ammonia directly at the point of use, such as farms. This system not only eliminates the reliance on fossil fuels but also ensures that ammonia production is 100% renewable, carbon-free, and competitively priced against traditional “black” ammonia. According to Suzanne Zamany Andersen, CEO & Co-founder, and Mattia Saccoccio, CTO & Co-founder, this technology empowers end users by providing resilience against supply chain volatility and promoting environmental sustainability.

The startup’s journey from an ambitious project at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) to a pioneering force in green ammonia production reflects seven years of extensive research and innovation. As NitroVolt prepares to scale its production by a factor of 1,000 in 2024, the future of green ammonia—and by extension, global food security—looks brighter than ever.