Liquefied Sunshine: Transforming Renewables into Fertilizers and Energy Carriers with Electromaterials

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Abstract

It has become apparent that renewable energy sources are plentiful in many, often remote, parts of the world, such that storing and transporting that energy has become the key challenge. For long-distance transportation by pipeline and bulk tanker, a liquid form of energy carrier is ideal, focusing attention on liquid hydrogen and ammonia. Development of high-activity and selectivity electrocatalyst materials to produce these energy carriers by reductive electrochemistry has therefore become an important area of research. Here, recent developments and challenges in the field of electrocatalytic materials for these processes are discussed, including the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), and the nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR). Some of the mis-steps currently plaguing the nitrogen reduction to ammonia field are highlighted. The rapidly growing roles that in situ/operando and quantum chemical studies can play in new electromaterials discovery are also surveyed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1904804
Number of pages13
JournalAdvanced Materials
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • ammonia
  • carbon dioxide reduction
  • energy conversion
  • nitrogen fixation
  • water splitting

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