ELECTROCATALYTIC NITROGEN FIXATION FOR DISTRIBUTED FERTILIZER PRODUCTION?
BY MICHAEL JEWESS AND ROBERT H CRABTREE
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This work was published in ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2016, 4(11), 5855-5858.
Production of aqueous ammonium nitrate solution on farms ready for use could involve solar arrays and a suitable electrocatalytic process, feasible half cell and overall reactions being:
reaction at the cathode: N2 + 6 e– + 6 H+ → 2 NH3
reaction at the anode: 1.5 NH3 + 2.25 H2O → 0.75 NH44NO3 + 6 e– + 6 H+
overall reaction: N2 + 2.25 H2O → 0.75 NH4NO3 + 0.5 NH3
Although the possibility of producing ammonium nitrate by electrolyis goes back to Sir Humphry Davy, modern catalysts might allow useful yields.
Keywords: nitrogen fixation, Humphry Davy, Haber process, Ostwald process.
Further context and developments
Further context and developments are provided in Michael Jewess, “Davy hits the headlines (again)”: DAVYHEADLINE