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JST Press Release

October 8, 2016
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

Development of highly active and stable ammonia synthesis catalyst under low temperatures

Profs. Hosono, Hara, Kitano, Abe and Dr. Inoue found that ruthenium nanoparticles immobilized on calcium amide (Ca(NH2)2) function as an efficient catalyst for ammonia synthesis at 300°C and the catalytic activity is more than 10 times higher than that of the highest performance Ru catalysts reported so far. In addition, 3% Ba-doped Ca(NH2)2 supported Ru catalyst exhibited excellent stability during reaction for 700 h (almost 1 month).

Ammonia is mainly consumed as a fertilizer in crop production and has attracted much attention as a promising candidate for a hydrogen carrier. The present findings will significantly promote the development of the energy-saving processes of ammonia synthesis. Commonly, most of Ru catalysts are supported on metal oxides or carbon materials. In the present catalyst, flat-shaped Ru nanoparticles with a uniform size distribution are distinctly anchored on the surface of Ca(NH2)2 by strong Ru-N interaction. As a result, Ru-loaded Ca(NH2)2 exhibits high catalytic performance and long term stability for ammonia synthesis under low reaction temperatures.

Researcher Information

R&D Project “Materials Science and Application of Electrides”

Journal Information

Yasunori Inoue, Masaaki Kitano, Kazuhisa Kishida, Hitoshi Abe, Yasuhiro Niwa, Masato Sasase, Yusuke Fujita, Hiroki Ishikawa, Toshiharu Yokoyama, Michikazu Hara, and Hideo Hosono. “Efficient and Stable Ammonia Synthesis by Self-Organized Flat Ru Nanoparticles on Calcium Amide”. ACS Catalysis, 6, 75777584 (2016), doi: 10.1021/acscatal.6b01940.


[About Research]
Hideo Hosono, Ph.D.
Director, Materials Research Center for Element Strategy, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Professor, Institute of Innovative Research, Laboratory for Materials and Structures Tokyo Institute of Technology
URL: http://www.titech.ac.jp/english/research/stories/hideo_hosono_2.html
URL: http://www.titech.ac.jp/english/research/stories/hideo_hosono_1.html

Michikazu Hara, Ph.D.
Professor, Institute of Innovative Research, Laboratory for Materials and Structures, Tokyo Institute of Technology
URL: http://www.msl.titech.ac.jp/~hara/index-e.html

[About Program]
Daichi Terashita
ACCEL Group, Department of Innovation Research, JST


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