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Green Ammonia and Hydrogen

Implications for Minnesota and Beyond

Featured Speaker: Michael Reese

Director of Operations

Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Research Lead

West Central Research and Outreach Center

University of Minnesota

Oct 15 2023

Green hydrogen and ammonia opens many possibilities and opportunities for the State of Minnesota and the surrounding regions.  These possibilities range from the production of green fertilizer, green iron and steel, energy storage, green concrete, and e-fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and methanol.  However, this has been true for decades so what has changed?  Through the years, advancements in technologies have helped to provide a pathway towards implementation and the recent passage of federal policies and incentives have made green hydrogen a reality, clearing the way for development over the next couple decades.

About the speaker: Michael currently serves as the Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Research Lead and heads the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) as the Director of Operations.  The WCROC is a 1,100 acre agricultural experiment station located in western Minnesota near the community of Morris that focuses on crop, dairy, swine, horticulture, and renewable energy research.


For over 23 years, Michael set the strategic direction and oversaw the development of the renewable energy program at WCROC.  He has participated as principle investigator on over $30 million of research and demonstration projects including wind energy, biomass gasification, renewable hydrogen and ammonia, and solar energy systems.  He led the renewable energy program’s strategy to reduce fossil energy consumption in agricultural production systems through incorporating renewable and efficient energy technologies.  In 2013, Michael led the development, commissioning, and operation of the first-in-the-world wind-to-ammonia pilot plant.   The ammonia is used for nitrogen fertilizer but also is an effective hydrogen carrier.  To that end, Michael has participated in several hydrogen- and ammonia-fuel projects primarily revolving around agricultural applications.  These experiences have provided a unique perspective on the production and utilization of green hydrogen and ammonia as well as the development of several key relationships.           


As a member of the University’s Climate Smart Municipality program, he continues to work with community partners in Morris and Saerbeck, Germany on issues related to clean energy, energy efficiency, water quality, recycling, waste reduction, waste water treatment, and public education of these issues.  His qualifications include a mix of academic, research, and business experiences and he has been an invited speaker for numerous national and regional conferences on the topic of renewable energy.  

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