Ammonia is within the top globally produced inorganic chemicals.
Wide application of this compound includes mainly fertilizers production and usage as building block for the chemical industry being the precursor of most nitrogen-containing compounds. Recently, NH3 is being investigated as potential renewable energy carrier due to high hydrogen content, low cost of nitrogen sourcing and possibility of creating pathway to fully CO2-free energy storage.
Currently, synthesis of NH3 on industrial scale is based on Haber-Bosh process
which has few disadvantages such as high energy consumption due to feedstock preparation, high temperature and pressure of reaction as well as large amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere.
For these reasons, looking for new ways of ammonia synthesis seems to be reasonable.
The main aim of the project is to develop highly efficient method for electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia using functionalized hollow fiber based electrodes. Room temperature, atmospheric pressure as well as aqueous environment makes this reaction very challenging to perform due to very strong triple N-N bond, unfavorable kinetic and rapid hydrogen evolution reaction. The work involves preparation of inorganic hollow fibers, their functionalization with catalysts as well as optimization of process parameters to enhance NH3 production rate and Faradaic efficiency.