Mechanocatalytic synthesis of ammonia at room temperature and atmospheric pressure
In an Angewandte-paper hot off the press, Steffen Reichle, Michael Felderhoff and Ferdi Schüth report the mechanocatalytic synthesis of ammonia over a cesium-promoted iron catalyst under mild conditions. Ammonia synthesis normally requires temperatures of 400-500°C and pressures of 150-300 bar. Ammonia is the basis of all nitrogen-containing fertilizers and is under discussion as transport and storage molecule for hydrogen in future energy systems. It is estimated that currently about 2 % of the global energy demand is used for ammonia synthesis.