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Issue 14, 2019
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Lithium-mediated ammonia synthesis from water and nitrogen: a membrane-free approach enabled by an immiscible aqueous/organic hybrid electrolyte system

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Abstract

The lithium-mediated pathway provides a promising way for facile and selective dissociation of nitrogen for ammonia synthesis. However, the prevailing electro-deposition of lithium, especially when coupled to the anodic oxygen evolution from water or hydroxide, presents disadvantages including the use of expensive Li-ion conducting ceramics (LISICON) or high temperature operation of molten salts. In this study, a membrane-free approach based on the immiscibility of aqueous/organic electrolytes was adopted for lithium electro-deposition, which could be utilized for subsequent nitridation and ammonia synthesis. We found that a biphasic system of aqueous 1 M LiClO4 and 1 M LiClO4/propylene carbonate reinforced with PMMA (poly(methyl methacrylate)) acts the same as a LISICON-based aqueous/organic hybrid electrolyte system, but without any physical membrane. With a fairly high faradaic efficiency (FE) of 57.2% and a production rate of 1.21 × 10−9 mol cm−2 s−1 for ammonia synthesis, this membrane-free approach and its application to ammonia synthesis provide an innovative way to the advancements in next-generation energy storage technologies.

Graphical abstract: Lithium-mediated ammonia synthesis from water and nitrogen: a membrane-free approach enabled by an immiscible aqueous/organic hybrid electrolyte system

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 Apr 2019
Accepted
07 Jun 2019
First published
08 Jun 2019

Green Chem., 2019,21, 3839-3845
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Lithium-mediated ammonia synthesis from water and nitrogen: a membrane-free approach enabled by an immiscible aqueous/organic hybrid electrolyte system

K. Kim, Y. Chen, J. Han, H. C. Yoon and W. Li, Green Chem., 2019, 21, 3839
DOI: 10.1039/C9GC01338E

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