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Issue 1, 2017
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A low-crystalline ruthenium nano-layer supported on praseodymium oxide as an active catalyst for ammonia synthesis

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Abstract

Ammonia is a crucial chemical feedstock for fertilizer production and is a potential energy carrier. However, the current method of synthesizing ammonia, the Haber–Bosch process, consumes a great deal of energy. To reduce energy consumption, a process and a substance that can catalyze ammonia synthesis under mild conditions (low temperature and low pressure) are strongly needed. Here we show that Ru/Pr2O3 without any dopant catalyzes ammonia synthesis under mild conditions at 1.8 times the rates reported with other highly active catalysts. Scanning transmission electron micrograph observations and energy dispersive X-ray analyses revealed the formation of low-crystalline nano-layers of ruthenium on the surface of Pr2O3. Furthermore, CO2 temperature-programmed desorption revealed that the catalyst was strongly basic. These unique structural and electronic characteristics are considered to synergistically accelerate the rate-determining step of NH3 synthesis, cleavage of the N[triple bond, length as m-dash]N bond. We expect that the use of this catalyst will be a starting point for achieving efficient ammonia synthesis.

Graphical abstract: A low-crystalline ruthenium nano-layer supported on praseodymium oxide as an active catalyst for ammonia synthesis

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 May 2016, accepted on 30 Aug 2016 and first published on 19 Sep 2016


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02382G
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 674-679
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    A low-crystalline ruthenium nano-layer supported on praseodymium oxide as an active catalyst for ammonia synthesis

    K. Sato, K. Imamura, Y. Kawano, S. Miyahara, T. Yamamoto, S. Matsumura and K. Nagaoka, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 674
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02382G

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