CF Industries (NYSE: CF), one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer manufacturers, has announced a new collaboration with CHS Inc., America’s top agribusiness cooperative. The two companies plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within agriculture and food systems by producing and distributing low-carbon nitrogen fertilizers. This ambitious project aligns with the goals of the U.S.-UAE’s Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) program, which aims to drive global innovation in climate-conscious agriculture.
The production of fertilizers, vital for crop yields, plays a significant role in the GHG emissions associated with food production. For example, a referenced study revealed that nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing is responsible for nearly 30% of the lifecycle GHG emissions of producing a loaf of bread.
CF Industries and CHS Inc. are targeting the emission-heavy manufacturing process to tackle these environmental challenges. In addition, they intend to use CF Industries’ investments in low carbon emission ammonia production, the essential ingredient in nitrogen-based fertilizers, to create more environmentally friendly products.
Simultaneously, CHS’s extensive distribution network will be instrumental in delivering these low and zero-carbon fertilizers to farmers. Both companies will promote the usage of these fertilizers, aiming to help farmers and crop end-users, such as consumer goods companies and ethanol producers, reduce agriculture’s overall carbon footprint.
Bert Frost, senior Vice President of CF Industries, said, “Decarbonized fertilizer is the future of sustainable supply and production.” He added that decarbonized fertilizer allows the company to measure GHG emission reduction during production and pass this benefit on to farmers. This process, Frost noted, could pave the way for a certifiable decarbonized agricultural value chain.
Echoing Frost’s sentiments, Brian Schouvieller, Senior Vice President at CHS, emphasized the importance of aiding growers in resource optimization. He added, “Nitrogen fertilizer is critical to plant growth; zero or low-carbon fertilizer can be an important tool as we pursue solutions that help growers simultaneously achieve their crop production and sustainability goals.”
Since 2020, CF Industries has pioneered projects to decarbonize its ammonia production network, aiming to supply a significant volume of pure ammonia in the coming years. The Donaldsonville Complex is building a facility to dehydrate and compress CO2. The complex will allow for the annual capture and permanent sequestration of up to 2 million tons of CO2 beginning in 2025.
Furthermore, CF Industries is building North America’s first commercial-scale green ammonia capacity at the same complex, which will allow up to 20,000 tons of green ammonia production starting in 2024.