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Issue 15, 2014
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Challenges in reduction of dinitrogen by proton and electron transfer

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Abstract

Ammonia is an important nutrient for the growth of plants. In industry, ammonia is produced by the energy expensive Haber–Bosch process where dihydrogen and dinitrogen form ammonia at a very high pressure and temperature. In principle one could also reduce dinitrogen upon addition of protons and electrons similar to the mechanism of ammonia production by nitrogenases. Recently, major breakthroughs have taken place in our understanding of biological fixation of dinitrogen, of molecular model systems that can reduce dinitrogen, and in the electrochemical reduction of dinitrogen at heterogeneous surfaces. Yet for efficient reduction of dinitrogen with protons and electrons major hurdles still have to be overcome. In this tutorial review we give an overview of the different catalytic systems, highlight the recent breakthroughs, pinpoint common grounds and discuss the bottlenecks and challenges in catalytic reduction of dinitrogen.

Graphical abstract: Challenges in reduction of dinitrogen by proton and electron transfer

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Feb 2014 and first published on 07 May 2014


Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C4CS00085D
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014,43, 5183-5191
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    Challenges in reduction of dinitrogen by proton and electron transfer

    C. J. M. van der Ham, M. T. M. Koper and D. G. H. Hetterscheid, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 5183
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CS00085D

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