A Hybrid Plasma-Electrocatalyst Activated Process for the Synthesis of Ammonia From Air and Water

The proposed IWRC project is focused on the synthesis of ammonia from air and water at ambient conditions using only electricity. Almost all fertilizers are derived from ammonia, which is currently synthesized by the Haber-Bosch process, a process that is centralized and possesses a large carbon footprint. There has been growing interest in developing a sustainable approach to synthesizing ammonia. A key challenge has been activating the very inert nitrogen molecule. Here, we developed an asymmetric electrochemical reactor composed of an anodic plasma that reacts nitrogen and oxygen gas at the interface of water to produce nitrates, and a cathodic electrocatalyst film that reduces the nitrates to ammonia.

  • PI: R. Mohan Sankaran
  • PI Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023