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Danish startup NitroVolt lands €750K to scale up green ammonia production

NitroVolt funding
Picture credits: NitroVolt

Ammonia is one of the most important chemicals in modern society. Reportedly, 50% of the world’s food production relies on it, and without ammonia, half the world’s population, which is nearly 4 billion people, would not be alive. However, current ammonia production methods emit 500 Mt CO2 per year, which is equivalent to 2% of the global CO2 emissions. This is on par with the entire aviation industry and 18.5x larger than the entire yearly CO2 emission of all Nordic countries. The ammonia industry must reduce its emissions by 37% by 2030 and by 96% by 2050. This creates a demand for local green ammonia production.

Danish startup NitroVolt does exactly the same. NitroVolt is working towards a solution that will produce green ammonia directly at farms. Now, NitroVolt has raised €750K in a pre-seed round from the Swedish venture firm BackingMinds (backed SNERPA). Previously, the startup received the Breakthrough Energy Fellowship Grant in 2023. 

TFN asked questions to Suzanne Zamany Andersen, the NitroVolt CEO and here’s what she discussed about the company’s plans. 

100% renewable ammonia

NitroVolt will use the investment to enable a local and cheaper production of ammonia. This is possible with its Nitrolyzer unit, which produces ammonia using only air, water and electricity. The company will use the funds to scale production by a factor of 1,000 and for market expansion. 

The product is a container-sized system, combining only air, water, and renewable electricity. NitroVolt’s solution totally removes fossil fuels from the production process, making their ammonia 100% renewable, carbon-free, and competitive with current black ammonia prices on the market. 

Commenting on the Nitrolyzer unit, Suzanne said, “The current way of producing ammonia releases around 2.5 tonnes CO2 per tonne of ammonia produced, because the large-scale commercial chemical process uses fossil fuels as an input. Our Nitrolyzer system just uses air, water, and (green) electricity to produce (green) ammonia, making the whole production process clean. We therefore abate those CO2 emissions from the large-scale production by offering a green alternative, producing around 150 kg ammonia per day.” 

“With the new funding, we’re moving out of the university and hiring the competencies we need to scale our technology. During 2024, we expect to increase our green ammonia output production by a factor of 1,000,” added Mattia Saccoccio, CTO & Co-founder of NitroVolt

Furthermore, she stated, “Right now, we’re moving out of the university labs and into our own space. We are upscaling the system this year, and intend to produce a demonstration unit next year which will be tested on a nearby farm. Once we have that demo unit out, and see that it works as expected while testing it for durability over a longer period, we can then start upscaling the production and have commercial units for sale. We will start locally in Denmark because it’s our backyard, but the long-term aim is a global market.” 

“NitroVolt caught our attention as we’ve been actively seeking green alternatives for fertilisers for over two years. Their groundbreaking solution targets 100% renewable, carbon-free ammonia, addressing a critical concern in agriculture. We seek companies like NitroVolt that tackle global challenges head-on, aligning perfectly with our mission for significant carbon emission reduction globally,” said Susanne Najafi, Founding Partner at BackingMinds. 

“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,” added Jasenko Hadzic, Principal at BackingMinds. 

How was the idea born?

Suzanne Zamany Andersen and Mattia Saccoccio officially spun-out their technology from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in July 2023. The original research project started at the department of Physics, DTU, where Suzanne was hired as a Ph.D. student in 2017, and together with the scientific team, was involved in the discovery of the process. Her extensive scientific experience led to various breakthroughs and patents for the process. Mattia joined the project as a Postdoc in 2019, with a focus on upscaling, and has engineered the flow system necessary for commercial application.

She added, “1 year into my Ph.D. project, we had a breakthrough, and managed to make ammonia. Once that happened, the professor was able to get a lot more research funding in and hired up to 12 fulltime PhD’s and Postdocs to work on this. Mattia therefore joined in 2019, with the focus of upscaling the production of the small batch cell I had used until then. And 2.5 years ago, when we started reaching commercially relevant targets, I asked him if he wanted to join me on the startup journey. Luckily for me, he did, but asked that we go visit some farmers to actually understand the whole value chain.” 

Regarding the team and its diversity, Suzanne stated, “In the university accelerator we are 8 people split over 5 full-time and 3 part-time employee, with Suzanne as the CEO and Mattia as the CTO. We are 3 women out of those 8 hires, and we span 6 different nationalities. Diversity is an important topic for us, and something we prioritise in hiring, as we see this as key for progress and development.”

Support for its tech

The founders joined the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program as part of the third cohort to receive support to take their technology to the next level by moving into their own laboratories and building a pilot unit electrochemical stack. The program supports innovators at the earliest stages of climate tech development as ideas transition to technologies and projects become companies. 


While many startups produce nitrogen fertilizers in different ways, such as large-scale commercial processes (Haber-Bosch) and electrochemical production processes, NitroVolt is said to stand out due to its size and the CAPEX of the system. The large systems come with distribution costs that increase the price of the fertilizer, making it higher than the production cost. NitroVolt uses small systems that fit the needs of the individual farms. 

Commenting on the competition, Suzanne stated, “Here, we stand out because we have consistently shown the most progress over the past 6 years, increasing our production capability by x100,000, and we have a strong scientific foundation, with numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals like Nature, Science and more.” 

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