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Co3O4/CuO/Cu electrodes for nitrate electroreduction

Abstract

Ammonia (NH3) production is a process of high scientific, technological and commercial interest due to its wide range of applications, such as in fertilizers and fuel. he industrial process, known as Haber-Bosch, consists of the reaction of N2 and H2 gases under high temperature (~500°C) and pressure (200-300 atm) conditions and, due to the high energy demand of the process, it consumes 1-2% of the total energy produced worldwide annually. In this context, electrochemical nitrate reduction emerges as a promising alternative, as the energy required can be supplied in the form of electricity and produced by renewable sources, such as solar and aeolian. Regarding electrocatalysts, cobalt (II, III) and copper (II) oxide, Co3O4 and CuO respectively, have shown promising results, such as high efficiency and selectivity. However, due to the low conductivity, the high overpotential required to achieve such conditions is still a hindrance. Thus, we believe that electrocatalysts of Co3O4 and CuO on metallic copper will present promising results in terms of selectivity for ammonia, high efficiency, and especially low overpotential. (AU)

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