Atomically dispersed Au1 catalyst towards efficient electrochemical synthesis of ammonia

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  • ReceivedJun 5, 2018
  • AcceptedJul 2, 2018
  • PublishedJul 10, 2018


Tremendous efforts have been devoted to explore energy-efficient strategies of ammonia synthesis to replace Haber-Bosch process which accounts for 1.4% of the annual energy consumption. In this study, atomically dispersed Au1 catalyst is synthesized and applied in electrochemical synthesis of ammonia under ambient conditions. A high NH4+ Faradaic efficiency of 11.1% achieved by our Au1 catalyst surpasses most of reported catalysts under comparable conditions. Benefiting from efficient atom utilization, an NH4+ yield rate of 1,305 μg h−1 mgAu−1 has been reached, which is roughly 22.5 times as high as that by supported Au nanoparticles. We also demonstrate that by employing our Au1 catalyst, NH4+ can be electrochemically produced directly from N2 and H2 with an energy utilization rate of 4.02 mmol kJ−1. Our study provides a possibility of replacing the Haber-Bosch process with environmentally benign and energy-efficient electrochemical strategies.

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