Achieving highly efficient ammonia synthesis by altering the rate-determining step

The electrochemical conversion of nitrogen to ammonia is the most promising alternative of the traditional Haber-Bosch process to achieve nitrogen fixation under ambient conditions. In this strategy, activation of high-energy triple-bonds of nitrogen is the most significant bottleneck and is commonly considered as the rate-determining step of ammonia synthesis. Scientists based in China successfully alter the rate-determining step of electrochemical nitrogen reduction, and outline guidance for future design of catalysts.