Mexico commits to a climate friendly nitric acid production

Nitric acid plant in Mexico

The extremely climate-damaging nitrous oxide emissions can be reduced to a minimum by technical solutions. Photo: GIZ Mexico

The Ministry of Environment of Mexico (SEMARNAT) has signed a commitment to reduce N2O emissions from nitric acid production to a minimum, through implementing appropriate political instruments by the end of 2024.

Nitric acid is used worldwide as a raw product for the manufacturing of artificial fertilizers and explosives. During the manufacturing process, significant amounts of N2O are emitted. This gas is one of the most climate-damaging; 265 times more harmful than CO2. All nitric acid producing plants located in Mexico have an impact on the climate equivalent to the emissions of 200,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year. With a goal to substantially reduce N2O emissions from the production of Nitric Acid worldwide, the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety; funded through the International Climate Initiative.

Minister Svenja Schulze, “German Federal minister of Environment commended this saying, “We are very glad to welcome Mexico as the first Latin American Country that commits to a climate friendlier nitric acid production. With this important milestone, NACAG gets closer to its goal of transforming a whole sector”.

Following this decision they have identified three nitric acid production plants in Mexico that can switch to climate-friendly operation with funds from the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG). A total of EUR 4 to 5 million is available for the conversion to N2O abatement technology, capable of reducing up to 98% of the N2O emissions of a plant.

Mexico’s commitment represents an important milestone in NACAG’s achievements in the Latin American Region. It also contributes to Mexico’s efforts towards fulfilling the climate targets set in the framework of the Paris Agreement.