Current Status of Catalyst for Green Ammonia Synthesis

Prof. Hideo Hosono

Tokyo Institute of Technology and National Institute for Materials Science


Efficient synthesis of ammonia using carbon foot-free hydrogen at mild conditions is a grand challenge in chemistry today. Novel concept is demanded for the activation process and catalyst to achieve this objective. This talk briefly reviews catalytic activation for ammonia synthesis at mild conditions. The features of the various activation methods reported so far are summarized, progress in heterogeneous catalysts since iron oxide for Haber-Bosch process is chronically looked back, and finally described is technical challenges to be overcome. Low work function of support materials for metal catalyst is a key to reducing the activation barrier to dissociate N2 bonding. Electride material extended to surface is shown to be useful for this purpose. The requirements for desired catalysts are to be highly efficient at low temperatures, Ru-free and chemically robust in ambient atmosphere.

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