Identification and elimination of false positives in electrochemical nitrogen reduction studies

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Ammonia is of emerging interest as a liquefied, renewable-energy-sourced energy carrier for global use in the future. Electrochemical reduction of N2 (NRR) is widely recognised as an alternative to the traditional Haber–Bosch production process for ammonia. However, though the challenges of NRR experiments have become better understood, the reported rates are often too low to be convincing that reduction of the highly unreactive N2 molecule has actually been achieved. This perspective critically reassesses a wide range of the NRR reports, describes experimental case studies of potential origins of false-positives, and presents an updated, simplified experimental protocol dealing with the recently emerging issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5546
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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