Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia: A Low Pressure, Low Temperature Approach

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Ammonia, electrolysis, anion exchange membrane, electrocatalysis


This article describes the importance of nitrogen-containing compounds and describes the key role played by ammonia in multiple domains. Following a brief description of the traditional method to synthesize ammonia, the article highlights a low temperature and low-pressure electrochemical route for the manufacture of ammonia. The article posits that a successful electrolytic ammonia process would enable a new nitrogen fertilizer industry based on networks of distributed-scale, near-point-of-use production plants. A concept for an alkaline anion exchange membrane based device for electrolytic ammonia production is described. The challenges associated with engendering selective electrocatalysis for the half-cell reactions are discussed. Finally, a summary of the experimental progress made to date is presented and the future outlook for the electrolytic production of ammonia is discussed.