(446f) Promoting Reliable Electrocatalytic N2 Reduction
We report our efforts to develop a standardized set of control experiments, equipment, and benchmarking protocols for the N2 reduction reaction based on the use of carefully purified, isotopically labeled 15N2 as the nitrogen source. In order to accommodate the need to efficiently detect both 14NH3 and 15NH3 in both aqueous and nonaqueous environments, we elaborated a frequency selective, quantitative NMR assay capable of detecting NH3in a range of compatible electrolytes, including ethanol, THF, DMSO, acetonitrile, propylene carbonate, and diethyl either. Using these methods, we have re-evaluated a number of electrocatalysts that we hypothesized to be active toward N2 reduction but did not find evidence for N2 reduction activity. Despite this, we believe there are still a number of strategies being pursued in the community that may lead to active N2 reduction catalysts, and we hope that the pursuit of rigorous methods being exhibited throughout the community will result in exciting new catalyst discoveries.