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Ammonia electrochemical synthesis from nitrate reduction at metal oxides: an in operando investigation

Grant number: 19/18847-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Raphael Nagao de Sousa
Grantee:Gabriel Floriano Costa
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/01817-9 - Design and control of self-organized electrochemical patterns, AP.JP


Ammonia is a dense energy carrier and has been studied as an alternative to fossil fuels. The ammonia production by the Haber-Bosch process was one of the main technogical developments of the 20th. century, allowing its production on large scale. However, this process led to a disturbance in the nitrogen cycle, in addition to relying on fossil fuels for the N2 hydrogenation and demanding a high amount of energy. Ammonia electrosynthesis is a sustainable alternative to Haber-Bosch process by restoring the nitrogen cycle and using clean energy sources. Copper oxide materials have been shown catalytic activity to ammonia synthesis, however they can be reduced along with nitrate ions. This project proposes a systematic investigation of the reaction mechanism at self-organized copper and copper oxide catalysts with in situ and on-line techniques, such as infrared spectroscopy, Raman and differential electrochemical mass spectrometry. Then, it will be possible to relate the evolution of the catalyst active sites with the formation of intermediates and reaction products from nitrate reduction. Thus, getting a more detailed knowledge of the processes involved at the catalyst interface, it will be possible to find ways to preserve the material and optimize its use for this reaction. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PINTO, MARIA R.; COSTA, GABRIEL F.; MACHADO, EDUARDO G.; NAGAO, RAPHAEL. Self-Organization in Electrochemical Synthesis as a Methodology towards New Materials. CHEMELECTROCHEM, v. 7, n. 14 MAY 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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