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Fe on molecular-layer MoS2 as inorganic Fe-S2-Mo motifs for light-driven nitrogen fixation to ammonia at elevated temperatures

DOI: 10.1016/j.checat.2021.03.002 DOI Help

Authors: Jianwei Zheng (University of Oxford) , Lilin Lu (University of Oxford; Wuhan University of Science and Technology) , Konstantin Lebedev (University of Oxford) , Simson Wu (University of Oxford) , Pu Zhao (University of Oxford) , Ian J. Mcpherson (University of Oxford) , Tai-Sing Wu (National Tsing Hua University) , Ryuichi Kato (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) , Yiyang Li (University of Oxford) , Ping-Luen Ho (University of Oxford) , Guangchao Li (University of Oxford) , Linlu Bai (Heilongjiang University) , Jianhui Sun (Heilongjiang University) , Dharmalingam Prabhakaran (University of Oxford) , Robert A. Taylor (University of Oxford) , Yun-Liang Soo (National Tsing Hua University) , Kazu Suenaga (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) , Shik Chi Edman Tsang (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Chem Catalysis , VOL 317

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2021

Abstract: Current industrial production of ammonia from the Haber-Bosch process and its transport concomitantly produces a large quantity of CO2. Herein, we successfully synthesize inorganic-structure-based catalysts with [Fe-S2-Mo] motifs with a connecting structure similar to that of FeMoco (a cofactor of nitrogenase) by placing iron atoms on a single molecular layer of MoS2 at various loadings. This type of new catalytic material functionally mimics the nitrogenase to convert N2 to ammonia and hydrogen in water without adding any sacrificial agent under visible-light illumination. Using the elevated temperature boosts the ammonia yield and the energy efficiency by one order of magnitude. The solar-to-NH3 energy-conversion efficiency can be up to 0.24% at 270°C, which is the highest efficiency among all reported photocatalytic systems. This method of ammonia production and the photocatalytic materials may open up an exciting possibility for the decentralization of ammonia production for fertilizer provision to local farmlands using solar illumination.

Journal Keywords: SDG7: Affordable and clean energy; SDG9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure

Diamond Keywords: Photocatalysis

Subject Areas: Energy, Chemistry, Environment


Instruments: I15-1-X-ray Pair Distribution Function (XPDF)

Other Facilities: BL07A XAS beamline at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center

Added On: 06/04/2021 11:29

Discipline Tags:

Catalysis Inorganic Chemistry Physical Chemistry Earth Sciences & Environment Climate Change Energy Sustainable Energy Systems Agriculture & Fisheries Chemistry

Technical Tags:

Scattering Pair Distribution Function (PDF)