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NH3 Event announces big names for third annual Rotterdam conference

After two successful years, the NH3 Event returns on June 6 & 7 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the third edition. Ammonia is still an underestimated route to achieving a sustainable energy economy. At the NH3 Event, members of the energy community, including the public, NGOs, policy-makers, industries, and academics — including well-known experts, developers, and scientists — gather to present the latest research results and commercial achievements, and to discuss new application fields and business prospects for ammonia in energy solutions. And this year with very interesting names!

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New Insights into Electrocatalysis of Nitrogen Reduction to Ammonia

Ammonia was electrochemically produced from nitrogen and water using a ruthenium–platinum (RuPt) alloy catalyst cathode and a nickel anode at ambient pressure and room temperature. The rate of ammonia formation was 5.1 × 10−9 gNH3 s−1 cm−2 with a 13.2% faradaic efficiency at an applied potential of 0.123 V vs. RHE; it reached 1.08 × 10−8 gNH3 s−1 cm−2 at 0.023 V. Ammonia production was investigated under selected potentials and temperatures. Real-time direct electrochemical mass spectrometric (DEMS) analysis of the evolved gases was performed at various applied potentials. In general, the mass-to-charge ratio signals of hydrogen and ammonia were detected,…

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Enhanced Electrochemical Ammonia Production Via Peptide-Bound Metal

Approximately half of the people on the planet are alive because of synthetically produced ammonia. However, due to the fossil fuels used in the current ammonia synthesis process, its production contributes a significant amount to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Haber-Bosch synthesis, which is the most widely used method of producing synthetic ammonia today, requires high temperatures (400-500 °C) and pressures (150-200 atm). This process is also energy intensive, consuming approximately 2% of worldwide energy. By taking an electrochemically-based approach to ammonia synthesis, those harsh conditions and emissions can be eliminated. However, current catalysts are not selective for the desired…

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Highly-Selective Electrochemical Reduction of Dinitrogen to Ammonia at Ambient Temperature and Pressure

Catalytic conversion of dinitrogen (N2) into ammonia under ambient conditions represents one of the Holy Grails in catalysis and surface science. As a potential alternative to the Haber-Bosch process, electrochemical reduction of N2 to NH3 is attractive owing to its renewability and flexibility, as well as sustainability for producing and storing value-added chemicals from the abundant feedstock of water and nitrogen on earth. However, owing to the kinetically complex and energetically challenging N2 reduction reaction (NRR) process, NRR electrocatalysts with high catalytic activity and high selectivity are rare. In this contribution, as a proof-of-concept, we demonstrate that both the NH3…

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Electrochemical Nitrogen Reduction Reaction on Transition Metal Nitride Nanoparticles in Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers

Transition metal nitride nanoparticles are synthesized and utilized as catalysts for electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction (ENRR) to produce ammonia in a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer (PEMEL). The catalysts show an average ENRR rate and Faradaic efficiency (FE) of 3.3 × 10−10 mol s−1 cm−2 (6.6 × 10−10 mol s−1 mg−1) and 5.95% at −0.1 V within 1 h, respectively. Both the ENRR rate and FE are approximately two orders of magnitude higher than those of noble metal catalysts. Time-dependent results suggest that the catalytic activity of transition metal nitride nanoparticles is stable at −0.1 V, with the catalytic activity decreasing…

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Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia Using Metal Nitride Catalsyts

With the development of the Haber process and the subsequent work done by Bosch, ammonia production become an industrially and economically viable way to fix nitrogen. This helped increase the global population and estimates put it at about 40% of the global population’s food comes from ammonia made by the Haber-Bosch process[1]. However, the Haber-Bosch process is an energy intensive process requiring high pressure (15-30 MPa) and relatively high temperature (430 °C – 480 °C) and is highly centralized with only about 13 companies and about 29 plants[2,3]. Renewable energy resources offer a possible alternative way to fix nitrogen at…

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DFT Analysis of Elementary N2 Electro-Reduction Kinetics on Transition Metal Surfaces

Ammonia is currently produced through the catalytic Haber Bosch process (HB) at temperatures of about 300 to 500 °C and pressure of about 200-300 atm. In a future with plentiful renewable electricity from distributed sources, an electro-chemical system to produce ammonia could efficiently generate ammonia on site and on demand. Possible heterogeneous catalysts for electro-chemical nitrogen reduction are currently marred by the poor rate and selectivity due to difficulty in activating the strong N-N bond and to the competing hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), resulting in infeasible faradaic efficiency. To develop more selective and active catalysts, better understanding of the mechanistic…

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Identifying the Prospects of Electrochemical Ammonia Synthesis on Mxenes Using First Principles Calculations

Electrochemical synthesis of ammonia is a major challenge aimed at making production of ammonia sustainable. Currently ruthenium is the transition metal of choice for catalyzing the industrial Haber-Bosch process. However, electrochemical ammonia synthesis on ruthenium suffers from high overpotential and the competing hydrogen evolution reaction. Recently layered transition metals carbides and nitrides (MXenes) have been identified as a potential material class for ammonia synthesis. MXenes are particularly interesting owing to the high degree of tunability in surface chemistry due to the transition metal choice, interlayer distance, number of layers in the material, and surface termination. These choices affect the electron…

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A Low Pressure Membrane Based Renewable Ammonia Synthesis

Ammonia is currently mostly produced by the highly energy and carbon-intensive Haber–Bosch process, which requires temperatures of 450–500 °C and pressures of up to 200 bar. The feedstock for this process is hydrogen from natural gas (NG), coal or oil, and nitrogen produced from air by cryogenic route or pressure swing adsorption (PSA). The share of NG, coal and fuel oil feedstock for the global production of ammonia is 72%, 22% and 4% respectively, contributing to approximately 420 million tons of CO2 emissions per annum, representing over 1% of global energy related emissions. The energy consumed for ammonia synthesis by…

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Analysis of influence of operating pressure on dynamic behavior of ammonia production over ruthenium catalyst under high pressure condition

Process technologies on energy conversion of renewable electricity into hydrogen energy carrier are significant to deploy long-term storage and long-distance transport of much more renewable inside and outside Japan. Ammonia is a potential hydrogen carrier that contains 17.6 wt% of hydrogen. Moreover, as an energy carrier, ammonia is thought to be a clean fuel as only water and nitrogen are produced on direct combustion. Many researchers and engineers consider that ammonia plants using hydrogen produced by solar electricity or wind electricity will be much smaller than those currently used [1]. There is an issue of low pressure condition for feed…