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Title: On the mechanism of the electrochemical conversion of ammonia to dinitrogen on Pt(1 0 0) in alkaline environment

The electrochemical oxidation of ammonia to dinitrogen is a model reaction for the electrocatalysis of the nitrogen cycle, as it can contribute to the understanding of the making/breaking of N—N, N—O, or N—H bonds. Moreover, it can be used as the anode reaction in ammonia electrolyzers for H 2 production or in ammonia fuel cells. Here, we study the reaction on the N 2-forming Pt(1 0 0) electrode using a combination of electrochemical methods, product characterization and computational methods, and suggest a mechanism that is compatible with the experimental and theoretical findings. We propose that N 2 is formed via an *NH + *NH coupling step, in accordance with the Gerischer-Mauerer mechanism. Other N—N bond forming steps are considered less likely based on either their unfavourable energetics or the low coverage of the necessary monomers. The N—N coupling is inhibited by strongly adsorbed *N and *NO species, which are formed by further oxidation of *NH.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemistry; Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division; Leiden Univ. (Netherlands). Leiden Inst. of Chemistry
  2. Leiden Univ. (Netherlands). Leiden Inst. of Chemistry
  3. Leiden Univ. (Netherlands). Leiden Inst. of Chemistry; Univ. of Barcelona (Spain). Inst. of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry of the Univ. of Barcelona (IQTCUB) and Dept. of Materials Science and Physical Chemistry
  4. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  5. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; IOF-327650; 722.014.009; RYC-2015-18996
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Catalysis
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 359; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9517
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division; European Commission (EC); China Scholarship Council (CSC); Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO); Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (MEC)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Ammonia oxidation; Electrocatalysis; Nitrogen cycle; Physical electrochemistry; Single-crystal electrochemistry
OSTI Identifier: