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Recent advancement in electrocatalytic synthesis of ammonia


Ammonia can not only be used as active nitrogen component of nitrogen fertilizer, fiber, explosive, etc., but also provide high energy density and carbon free energy carrier. Currently, ammonia is industrially synthesized by Haber Bosch process under high temperature and high pressure, which results in high energy loss and serious greenhouse effect. Electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR) is a sustainable and environmentally friendly strategy for synthesis of ammonia. Although lots of electrocatalysts have been developed for this reaction, further breakthroughs are needed in catalytic activity, selectivity and Faraday efficiency to meet the large-scale commercial demand. In this review, the recent advance in NRR electrocatalysis is thoroughly commented. Different kinds of electrocatalysts used in ammonia synthesis (including single atom catalysts, metal oxide catalysts, nanocomposite catalysts, and metal free catalysts) are introduced. The reaction mechanism of NRR is discussed in detail. The structure-function relationship and efficient strategies to improve the ammonia yield are emphatically discussed. Effect of electronic structure and morphology of catalysts on the selectivity of NRR is highlighted. The research directions and perspectives on the further development of more efficient electrocatalysts for NRR are provided.

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Article information

17 Feb 2020
06 Mar 2020
First published
11 Mar 2020

Nanoscale, 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Review Article

Recent advancement in electrocatalytic synthesis of ammonia

X. Wen and J. Guan, Nanoscale, 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0NR01359E

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