Comparison between Fe2O3/C and Fe3C/Fe2O3/Fe/C Electrocatalysts for N2Reduction in an Alkaline Electrolyte

Ji Hye Kim, Hyung Kuk Ju, Byeong Seon An, Yena An, Kanghee Cho, Sun Hyung Kim, Youn Sang Bae, Hyung Chul Yoon

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Cost-effective and nonprecious iron-based catalysts were synthesized, evaluated, and compared for electrocatalytic N2 reduction reaction (NRR) under alkaline conditions in the potential range from-0.4 to 0.1 V [vs reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE)] at low temperature (≤60 °C) and atmospheric pressure. The tested H-type cell was separated by an anion exchange membrane in 6 M KOH alkaline electrolyte (pH = over 14) in order to minimize hydrogen evolution reaction and to directly form NH3 gas. The amount of ammonia synthesized was quantified using an indophenol blue method and cross-checked with 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and ion chromatography using both 14N2 and 15N2 gases. Because of the synergistic effect between the Fe3C, Fe2O3, and Fe composites in the NRR, both the ammonia formation rate and faradaic efficiency in Fe3C/Fe2O3/Fe/C were approximately fourfold higher than those in Fe2O3/C at 60 °C and 0.1 V (vs RHE). These results can provide insights into designing Fe-based electrocatalysts for NRR at atmospheric pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61316-61323
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 29

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted under the framework of the Research and Development Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) (C1-2413). This work was also supported by the Alchemist Project (20012383, Technical development of hydrogen production from green ammonia) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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