Nitrogen Chemistry I: Nitrogen Reduction and Fixation

Pennington, A. M., Rutgers University
Zhu, H., Virginia Tech Chemical Engineering

The nitrogen cycle links diverse sectors from agriculture to energy, and has environmental impacts on water quality and climate change. The fixation of atmospheric nitrogen to usable nutrients is the crux of the nitrogen cycle, while interconversion of a diverse range of compounds including ammonia, NOx/nitrates, and urea also play a key role. The development of new and efficient catalytic technologies can lead to novel processes for fixing atmospheric nitrogen and managing the nitrogen cycle. These processes will be particularly impactful if they can be operated in a decentralized manner to produce and convert nitrogen compounds near the distributed agricultural centers that are most intimately linked to the nitrogen cycle. However, the development of catalysts for nitrogen chemistry is also challenging due to the difficulty of accurately quantifying concentrations and lack of well-established testing standards and performance metrics. This session will focus on catalyst materials and catalytic processes that aim to fix atmospheric nitrogen or convert nitrogen compounds at benign conditions, including but not limited to photo/electrocatalytic and plasma-driven processes. Studies that include experimental results should emphasize the techniques and testing conditions used to quantify rates and concentrations, and talks that include both theoretical and experimental results are strongly encouraged.



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