Advanced Materials and Nano Systems: Theory and Experiment (Part-1)

Design of Supported Catalysts for Nitrogen Reduction Reaction: A Continuous Challenge

Author(s): Deeksha R. and Deepak Kumar *

Pp: 66-91 (26)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815050745122010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The production of ammonia is facilitated by the nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR), where the inert di-nitrogen molecule is converted to ammonia. Along with being a major carrier of hydrogen, ammonia holds authority in the fertilizer realm. Therefore, it is inevitable to develop a viable and eco-friendly method of production that is cost-effective and resource-efficient. The primary challenge of nitrogen reduction is the cleavage of the particularly stable nitrogen bond. The most popular Haber-Bosch process for ammonia production, although efficient, is highly energy-intensive, and the need for maintaining exceptionally high temperature and pressure conditions is an environmental concern. As an alternative, the direct conversion of nitrogen has been carried out by photocatalysis and electrocatalysis. However, this strategy falls short of achieving superior conversion efficiencies. Consequently, it is conceivable that a fitting catalyst can be the solution for the difficulties associated with NRR. Over the years, several attempts have been made at formulating the best catalyst, including chromium oxynitride nanoparticles, niobium dioxide, various metal (Ru, Al, Rh, Ga) clusters, single-atom catalysts supported on different surfaces, and doubleatom catalysts. Recently, perovskites have emerged into the spotlight as excellent catalysts for NRR. In this chapter, we discuss the challenges faced by researchers to formulate righteous catalysts for the sustainable reduction of nitrogen by studying each of these types with a few examples. We also review the recent advancements in the experimental domain of NRR using different electrochemical cells.

Keywords: Ammonia, Density functional theory, Double-atom catalysts, HaberBosch process, Heterogeneous catalysis, Nitrogen reduction reaction, Perovskites, Single-atom catalyst.

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