Alkali and alkaline earth metal (AM) are employed as indispensable catalyst promoters for industrial ammonia synthesis.
According to a study led by Prof. CHEN Ping from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), alkali and alkaline earth metal are now play an important role in mediating dinitrogen reduction via a variety of processes that can be coupled with renewable energy harvest and storage.
This study was published in Chem on Sept. 22.
The researchers indicated that a prominent feature of recent progresses is the active participation of unconventional and reactive alkali or alkaline earth metal (AM)-based compounds in mediating dinitrogen reduction and ammonia synthesis via organometallic, thermocatalytic, electrochemical, and chemical looping processes. The AM-based compounds include hydrides, oxyhydrides, electrides, nitrides, and amides.
The elucidation of the unique chemistry of these AM-based materials as well as N2, H2 and NH3 can add fundamental understandings on the multi-functionalities of AM and therefore afford avenues for the rational development of materials and processes to tackle mild-condition ammonia synthesis.
In a broader sense, the insights of AM effect on the bellwether reaction-ammonia synthesis may have a profound impact on other AM-promoted chemical transformations.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS. (Text by WANG Qianru)