Ammonia photosynthesis via an association pathway using a plasmonic photoanode and a zirconium cathode

Tomoya Oshikiri, Kosei Ueno, Hiroaki Misawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most conventional photoelectrochemical-based methods for synthesizing NH3 show low selectivity due to the generation of H-2 as a by-product. In principle, two types of reaction mechanisms can occur in the reduction of N-2 to NH3. One is an associative pathway in which N-2 molecules on the catalyst are hydrogenated. The other is a dissociative pathway in which nitrogen and hydrogen react after the cleavage of the strong N-2 triple bond. Understanding the mechanism of NH3 formation on the electrode will facilitate the development of selective and efficient NH3 synthesis techniques. In this study, we constructed a two-electrode system composed of a strontium titanate photocatalytic anode in which the plasmon effect is expressed by plasmonic gold nanoparticles and a zirconium cathode, which was connected to the external circuit to investigate the reaction by electrochemical analysis in addition to analysis of the product. The bias and pH dependences of the reaction were then systematically investigated, and the plasmon-induced synthesis of NH3 on Zr was proposed to proceed via an associative pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 4443-4448
Number of pages6
JournalGreen Chemistry
Volume21
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2019

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