Achieving volatile potassium promoted ammonia synthesis via mechanochemistry

Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 22;14(1):2319. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38050-2.


Potassium oxide (K2O) is used as a promotor in industrial ammonia synthesis, although metallic potassium (K) is better in theory. The reason K2O is used is because metallic K, which volatilizes around 400 °C, separates from the catalyst in the harsh ammonia synthesis conditions of the Haber-Bosch process. To maximize the efficiency of ammonia synthesis, using metallic K with low temperature reaction below 400 °C is prerequisite. Here, we synthesize ammonia using metallic K and Fe as a catalyst via mechanochemical process near ambient conditions (45 °C, 1 bar). The final ammonia concentration reaches as high as 94.5 vol%, which was extraordinarily higher than that of the Haber-Bosch process (25.0 vol%, 450 °C, 200 bar) and our previous work (82.5 vol%, 45 °C, 1 bar).

PMID:37087491 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-38050-2


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