Strategic Design of MoO2 Nanoparticles Supported by Carbon Nanowires for Enhanced Electrocatalytic Nitrogen Reduction

Xu Han, Carter Gerke, Soumyodip Banerjee, Muhammad Zubair, Junjie Jiang, Nicholas Bedford, Elisa Miller, V. Thoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Ammonia is an industrially relevant chemical that can be directly synthesized from water and air using renewable energy through the electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR). However, because of the inert nature of nitrogen, current attempts at synthesizing ammonia under aqueous conditions result in low selectivity and yield rates. The poor electrocatalytic performance is mainly attributed to competing hydrogen evolution, underexposed active sites, inadequate electrode contact, and poor stabilization/destabilization of key reaction intermediates. Herein, we present a catalyst composed of MoO2 with surface vacancies dispersed over conductive carbon nanowires that mitigates these obstacles for NRR by providing a high surface area with stable catalytic sites and an underlying conductive support, where a variety of X-ray spectroscopy techniques are used to characterize the MoO2 catalyst. This uniquely engineered catalyst exhibits exceptional Faradaic efficiencies of over 30% and yields of 21.2 μg h-1 mg-1 at a low potential of -0.1 V vs RHE under ambient aqueous conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3237-3243
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
Volume5
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-77263

Keywords

  • catalysis
  • MoO2 nanoparticles
  • NH3 generation

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