Humans have found countless uses for ammonia over the past two centuries, from making fertilisers to producing plastics and disinfecting kitchen floors.

And now the maritime sector is turning to the colourless, pungent substance to propel ships as it aims to decarbonise the industry, given that it is carbon-free and in ample supply.

The gas also does not need to be mined and produced in a process that emits CO2 and pollutants, said Stephen Crolius, president and co-founder of Carbon Neutral Consulting — an advisory focused on energy transition.