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Electrocatalytic conversion of nitrate Into ammonia through heterogeneous catalysis of NiMoO4 and Cu/Cu2O

Lin, Changzheng, Chen, Xin, Wang, Ling, Li, Weijia, Wang, Zhenyu, Li, Mingtao, Feng, Jiangtao, Hou, Bo ORCID: and Yan, Wei 2024. Electrocatalytic conversion of nitrate Into ammonia through heterogeneous catalysis of NiMoO4 and Cu/Cu2O. Advanced Functional Materials 10.1002/adfm.202401287
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Facilitating equilibrium in the nitrogen cycle, electrochemical nitrate reduction (NitRR) to ammonia stands as a carbon-free method for ammonia synthesis. Copper-based catalysts, renowned for NitRR, face a hurdle in supplying sufficient hydrogen radicals (*H) for efficient hydrogenation of NitRR intermediates. Addressing this, NiMoO4 is leveraged as an excellent *H donor, synergistically coupling it with a copper-based catalyst. The work introduces a high-performance NiMoO4/CuO nanowire (NW)/Copper foam (CF) catalyst for NitRR, achieving a remarkable Faraday efficiency (FE) of 98.8% and a yield of 0.8221 mmol cm−2 h−1. Operating at −0.2 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (vs RHE) in an H-type electrolytic cell, the catalyst demonstrates exceptional stability over 20 h. Additionally, coupling NitRR with an air stripping process enables efficient collection of NH4Cl products, offering a practical avenue for converting waste nitrates into valuable ammonia products. In-depth in situ electrochemistry and density-functional theory (DFT) calculations affirm the transformation of CuO into Cu/Cu2O during the electrocatalytic reduction process. Cu/Cu2O catalyzes nitrate conversion to nitrite, while NiMoO4, serving as a *H donor, facilitates deoxidation and hydrogenation of other N intermediates on the Cu/Cu2O surface, effectively driving the reduction of nitrate to ammonia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1616-301X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 April 2024
Date of Acceptance: 26 March 2024
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 16:20

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