Review Article


2018, 11(6): 2992–3008


Aqueous electrocatalytic N2 reduction under ambient conditions

Na Cao and Gengfeng Zheng (*)

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Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Department of Chemistry and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China

Keywords: N2 reduction; electrocatalyst; aqueous electrolyte; faradaic efficiency
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ABSTRACT Recently, the electrochemical N2 reduction reaction (NRR) in aqueous electrolytes at ambient temperature and pressure has demonstrated its unique advantages and potentials. The reactants are directly derived from gaseous N2 and water, which are naturally abundant, and NH3 production is important for fertilizers and other industrial applications. To improve the conversion yield and selectivity (mainly competing with water reduction), electrocatalysts must be rationally designed to optimize the mass transport, chemisorption, and transduction pathways of protons and electrons. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the electrochemical NRR. Studies of electrocatalyst designs are summarized for different categories, including metal-based catalysts, metal oxide-derived catalysts, and hybrid catalysts. Strategies for enhancing the NRR performance based on the facet orientation, metal oxide interface, crystallinity, and nitrogen vacancies are presented. Additional system designs, such as lithium-nitrogen batteries, and the solvent effect are introduced. Finally, existing challenges and prospects are discussed.
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Aqueous electrocatalytic N2 reduction under ambient conditions. Nano Res. 2018, 11(6): 2992–3008

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