Could cargo ships run on so-called green ammonia? Scientists think so, and they say a retrofit—like converting a car to run on recycled oil—could turn cargo ship engines into ammonia engines. This comes from a new report from the U.K.’s Royal Society, presented as a policy brief to encourage use of green ammonia.
There’s one huge elephant in the room with this idea: Ammonia is really dangerous when it’s handled carelessly—and sometimes even when it’s handled carefully. Its vapors are reactive and corrosive, causing ammonia poisoning that can burn and damage the respiratory system when inhaled. Swallowing liquid ammonia can cause similar burning and damage to the digestive system, and even exposed skin can be damaged.