(Minnesota) — May 12th, 2023 — CF Industries, one of the world’s largest producers of nitrogen fertilizer, is working with CHS Inc., the nation’s leading agribusiness cooperative, to accelerate quantifiable and certifiable agriculture and food system greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions through the production and distribution of low-carbon nitrogen fertilizer. This initiative was developed as part of the U.S.-UAE’s Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) program that seeks to catalyze global innovation in climate-smart agriculture.
The manufacture of fertilizers, which are essential to crop yields, is a significant contributor to the lifecycle GHG footprint of global food production. For example, one study estimated that nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing accounts for about 30% of the lifecycle GHG emissions associated with the production of a loaf of bread.
To address the GHG footprint of food production, both companies will leverage CF Industries’ investments to produce ammonia, which is the building block of nitrogen-based fertilizer products, with lower Scope 1 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
They will also leverage the extensive distribution network of CHS to place low- and zero-carbon fertilizers with growers. The companies expect to work together to promote the use of low-GHG nitrogen fertilizer to help farmers and crop end users, such as consumer product goods companies and ethanol producers, reduce the overall carbon footprint of agriculture.
“Decarbonized fertilizer is the future of how we sustainably supply and produce the goods that humanity needs,” says Bert Frost, senior vice president, sales, supply chain and market development, CF Industries. “The advantage of using decarbonized fertilizer is that we can measure the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with its production and transfer that attribute to the farmer, who can then provide crops to their customers that have a quantifiably lower GHG footprint. This will enable us to develop a certifiable decarbonized agricultural value chain.”
“We recognize the importance of helping growers optimize resources as they produce food the world needs,” says Brian Schouvieller, senior vice president, commercial trade and risk management at CHS. “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 advanced industry-leading projects to decarbonize its ammonia production network and position the company to supply a substantial volume of clean ammonia within the next few years.
This includes leveraging carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies at its Donaldsonville Complex, where CF Industries is constructing a CO2 dehydration and compression facility to enable the capture and permanent sequestration of up to 2 million tons of CO2 per year, which is expected to begin in 2025. Additionally, CF Industries is constructing North America’s first commercial-scale green ammonia capacity at its Donaldsonville Complex, enabling up to 20,000 tons of green ammonia production beginning in 2024.
Watch a short video about the low-GHG fertilizer initiative: