School of Engineering
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme
Ammonia (NH3), one of the basic chemicals in most fertilizers and a promising carbon-free energy storage carrier, is typically synthesized via the Haber–Bosch process with high energy consumption and massive emission of greenhouse gases. The photo/electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR) under ambient conditions has attracted increasing interests recently, providing alternative routes to realize green NH3 synthesis. Despite rapid advances achieved in this most attractive research field, the unsatisfactory conversion efficiency including a low NH3 yield rate, and limited Faradaic efficiency or apparent quantum efficiency still remains as a great challenge. The NRR performance is intrinsically related to the electronic and surface structure of catalysts. Rational design and preparation of advanced catalysts are indispensable to improve the performance (e.g., activity and selectivity) of NRR. In this Review, various strategies for the development of desirable catalysts are comprehensively summarized, mainly containing the defect engineering, structural manipulation, crystallographic tailoring, and interface regulation. State-of-the-art heterogeneous NRR catalysts, prevailing theories and underlying catalytic mechanisms, together with current issues, critical challenges, and perspectives are discussed. It is highly expected that this Review will promote the understanding of recent advances in this area and stimulate greater interests for designing promising NRR catalysts in future.
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