Coupling N-2 and CO2 in H2O to synthesize urea under ambient conditions

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Chen Chen, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Xiaorong Zhu, Nanjing Normal Univ, Nanjing Normal University, Coll Chem & Mat Sci
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  • Xiaojian Wen, Xiamen Univ, Xiamen University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Phys Chem Solid Surfaces, iChEM
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  • Yangyang Zhou, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Ling Zhou, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Li Tao, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Qiling Li, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Shiqian Du, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Tingting Liu, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Dafeng Yan, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Chao Xie, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Yuqin Zou, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Yanyong Wang, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Ru Chen, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Jia Huo, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr
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  • Yafei Li, Nanjing Normal Univ, Nanjing Normal University, Coll Chem & Mat Sci
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  • Jun Cheng, Xiamen Univ, Xiamen University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Phys Chem Solid Surfaces, iChEM
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  • Hui Su, Univ Sci & Technol China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Science & Technology of China, Natl Synchrotron Radiat Lab
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  • Xu Zhao, Univ Sci & Technol China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Science & Technology of China, Natl Synchrotron Radiat Lab
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  • Weiren Cheng, Univ Sci & Technol China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Science & Technology of China, Natl Synchrotron Radiat Lab
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  • Qinghua Liu, Univ Sci & Technol China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Science & Technology of China, Natl Synchrotron Radiat Lab
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  • Hongzhen Lin, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou Inst Nanotech & Nanobion, i LAB
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  • Jun Luo, Tianjin Univ Technol, Tianjin University of Technology, Sch Mat Sci & Engn, Ctr Electron Microscopy
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  • Jun Chen, Univ Wollongong, University of Wollongong, Australian Inst Innovat Mat, Intelligent Polymer Res Inst
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  • Mingdong Dong
  • Kai Cheng, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Lab Magnet Resonance & Atom & Mol Phys, Collaborat Innovat Ctr Chem Life Sci,Wuhan Inst P, Natl Ctr Magnet Resonance Wuhan,Key Lab Magnet Re
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  • Conggang Li, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Lab Magnet Resonance & Atom & Mol Phys, Collaborat Innovat Ctr Chem Life Sci,Wuhan Inst P, Natl Ctr Magnet Resonance Wuhan,Key Lab Magnet Re
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  • Shuangyin Wang, Hunan Univ, Hunan University, Coll Chem & Chem Engn, State Key Lab Chem Biosensing & Chemometr

The use of nitrogen fertilizers has been estimated to have supported 27% of the world's population over the past century. Urea (CO(NH2)(2)) is conventionally synthesized through two consecutive industrial processes, N-2 + H-2 -> NH(3)followed by NH3 + CO2 -> urea. Both reactions operate under harsh conditions and consume more than 2% of the world's energy. Urea synthesis consumes approximately 80% of the NH(3)produced globally. Here we directly coupled N(2)and CO(2)in H2O to produce urea under ambient conditions. The process was carried out using an electrocatalyst consisting of PdCu alloy nanoparticles on TiO(2)nanosheets. This coupling reaction occurs through the formation of C-N bonds via the thermodynamically spontaneous reaction between *N=N* and CO. Products were identified and quantified using isotope labelling and the mechanism investigated using isotope-labelled operando synchrotron-radiation Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. A high rate of urea formation of 3.36 mmol g(-1) h(-1) and corresponding Faradic efficiency of 8.92% were measured at -0.4 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Chemistry
Number of pages10
ISSN1755-4330
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • AMMONIA-SYNTHESIS, CARBON-DIOXIDE, ELECTROCHEMICAL REDUCTION, NITROGEN REDUCTION, HIGH SELECTIVITY, WATER, ELECTROREDUCTION, TEMPERATURE, MONOXIDE, CATALYSTS

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