Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia: A Low Pressure, Low Temperature Approach
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.
J.N. Renner, L.F. Greenlee, A.M. Herring, K.E. Ayers. Electrochemical synthesis of ammonia: A low pressure, low temperature approach. The Electrochemical Society Interface 24(2) (2015) 51-57. DOI: 10.1149/2.F04152IF