Cr2O3 nanofiber: a high-performance electrocatalyst toward artificial N2 fixation to NH3 under ambient conditions†
NH3 synthesis heavily depends on the energy-intensive Haber–Bosch process, which produces serious carbon emission. Electrocatalytic N2 reduction emerges as an environmentally benign process for sustainable artificial N2 fixation but requires efficient, stable and selective catalysts for the N2 reduction reaction (NRR). Here, we report that Cr2O3 nanofiber behaves as a superb non-noble-metal NRR electrocatalyst for artificial N2 fixation to NH3, with excellent selectivity under ambient conditions. In 0.1 M HCl, this catalyst achieves a high Faradaic efficiency of 8.56% and a high NH3 formation rate of 28.13 μg h−1 mgcat.−1, placing it amongst the most active aqueous-based NRR electrocatalysts. Moreover, this catalyst also shows strong electrochemical durability during electrolysis and the recycling test. It opens a new avenue to explore the rational design of Cr-based nanostructures as advanced catalysts for N2 fixation and other applications.