Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Efficient bottom-up synthesis of new perovskite material for the production of ammonia

25.11.2019

Perovskites are a class of synthetic materials that have a crystalline structure similar to that of the naturally occurring mineral calcium titanate. They have been the subject of many studies because they exhibit exciting and unique properties that can be tuned according to their composition. One of their potential applications is as catalysts for the synthesis of ammonia. In other words, specific perovskites can be placed inside a reaction chamber with nitrogen and hydrogen to promote the reaction of these gases to form ammonia.

Ammonia is a useful substance that can be employed in the production of fertilizers and artificial chemicals, and even as a clean-energy carrier (in the form of hydrogen), which may be key in eco-friendly technologies.


This new protocol for the production of BaCeO3?xNyHz can be carried out at much lower temperatures and in much less time compared with conventional methods.

Credit: Tokyo Tech

However, there are various challenges associated with the synthesis of ammonia and perovskites themselves.

The synthesis rate for ammonia is generally limited by the high energy required to dissociate nitrogen molecules. Some researchers have had some success using precious metals, such as ruthenium.

Recently, perovskites with some of their oxygen atoms replaced by hydrogen and nitrogen ions have been developed as efficient catalysts for ammonia synthesis. However, the traditional synthesis of perovskites with such substitutions usually has to be carried out at high temperatures (more than 800°C) and over long periods of time (weeks).

To address these issues, in a recent study carried out at Tokyo Tech, a group of researchers led by Prof. Masaaki Kitano devised a novel method for the low-temperature synthesis of one of such oxygen-substituted perovskites with the chemical name BaCeO3?xNyHz and tested its performance as a catalyst to produce ammonia.

To achieve this, they made an innovative alteration to the perovskite synthesis process. The use of Barium carbonate and Cerium dioxide as precursors (or "ingredients") involves a very high temperature would be required to have them combine into the base perovskite, or BaCeO3, because Barium carbonate is very stable.

In addition, one would then have to substitute the oxygen atoms with nitrogen and hydrogen ions. On the other hand, the team found that the compound Barium amide reacts easily with Cerium dioxide under ammonia gas flow to directly form BaCeO3?xNyHz at low temperatures and in less time (Fig. 1). "This is the first demonstration of a bottom-up synthesis of such a material, referred to as perovskite-type oxynitride-hydride," explains Prof. Kitano.

The researchers first analyzed the structure of the perovskite obtained through the proposed process and then tested its catalytic properties for the low-temperature synthesis of ammonia under various conditions.

Not only did the proposed material outperform most of the state-of-the-art competitors when combined with ruthenium, but it also vastly surpassed all of them when combined with cheaper metals, such as cobalt and iron (see Fig. 2). This represents tremendous advantages in terms of both performance and associated cost.

Finally, the researchers attempted to elucidate the mechanisms behind the improved synthesis rate for ammonia. Overall, the insight provided in this study serves as a protocol for the synthesis of other types of materials with nitrogen and hydrogen ion substitutions and for the intelligent design of catalysts.

"Our results will pave the way in new catalyst design strategies for low-temperature ammonia synthesis," concludes Prof. Kitano. These findings will hopefully make the synthesis of useful materials cleaner and more energy efficient.

Media Contact

Kazuhide Hasegawa
media@jim.titech.ac.jp
81-357-342-975

http://www.titech.ac.jp/english/index.html 

Kazuhide Hasegawa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.titech.ac.jp/english/news/2019/045680.html
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.9b10726

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht First detailed electronic study of new nickelate superconductor finds 3D metallic state
22.01.2020 | DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

nachricht A new look at 'strange metals'
21.01.2020 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Integrate Micro Chips for electronic Skin

Researchers from Dresden and Osaka present the first fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits which opens the path towards the development of electronic skin.

Human skin is a fascinating and multifunctional organ with unique properties originating from its flexible and compliant nature. It allows for interfacing with...

Im Focus: Dresden researchers discover resistance mechanism in aggressive cancer

Protease blocks guardian function against uncontrolled cell division

Researchers of the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC), together with an international...

Im Focus: New roles found for Huntington's disease protein

Crucial role in synapse formation could be new avenue toward treatment

A Duke University research team has identified a new function of a gene called huntingtin, a mutation of which underlies the progressive neurodegenerative...

Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers discover vaccine to strengthen the immune system of plants

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

Brain-cell helpers powered by norepinephrine during fear-memory formation

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

Engineered capillaries model traffic in tiny blood vessels

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>