Electrochemical generation of ammonia (NH₃) from nitrogen (N₂) using renewable electricity is a desirable alternative to current NH₃ production methods, which consume roughly 1 % of the world's total energy use. In a recent publication (Berben and coworkers, Chem. Eur. J., 2018) the Berben Lab presents an approach to the electrochemical reduction of N₂ into NH3 using a coordination complex of aluminum(III), which facilitates NH₃ production at a low reduction potential. EPR spectroscopic characterization (collaboration with the Britt Lab) of a reduced intermediate and investigations of product inhibition are presented to provide mechanistic insights into this process.
More information at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/chem.201804454