Exploring the limits

A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process

Aleksandra Vojvodic, Andrew James Medford, Felix Studt, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Tuhin Suvra Khan, T. Bligaard, J. K. Nørskov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The Haber-Bosch process for ammonia synthesis has been suggested to be the most important invention of the 20th century, and called the 'Bellwether reaction in heterogeneous catalysis'. We examine the catalyst requirements for a new low-pressure, low-temperature synthesis process. We show that the absence of such a process for conventional transition metal catalysts can be understood as a consequence of a scaling relation between the activation energy for N2 dissociation and N adsorption energy found at the surface of these materials. A better catalyst cannot obey this scaling relation. We define the ideal scaling relation characterizing the most active catalyst possible, and show that it is theoretically possible to have a low pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. The challenge is to find new classes of catalyst materials with properties approaching the ideal, and we discuss the possibility that transition metal compounds have such properties.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Volume598
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
ISSN0009-2614
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Vojvodic, A., Medford, A. J., Studt, F., Abild-Pedersen, F., Khan, T. S., Bligaard, T., & Nørskov, J. K. (2014). Exploring the limits: A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. Chemical Physics Letters, 598, 108-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cplett.2014.03.003
Vojvodic, Aleksandra ; Medford, Andrew James ; Studt, Felix ; Abild-Pedersen, Frank ; Khan, Tuhin Suvra ; Bligaard, T. ; Nørskov, J. K. / Exploring the limits : A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. In: Chemical Physics Letters. 2014 ; Vol. 598. pp. 108-112.
@article{74e4cadf8a3a4e5aaea19b5277914de4,
title = "Exploring the limits: A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process",
abstract = "The Haber-Bosch process for ammonia synthesis has been suggested to be the most important invention of the 20th century, and called the 'Bellwether reaction in heterogeneous catalysis'. We examine the catalyst requirements for a new low-pressure, low-temperature synthesis process. We show that the absence of such a process for conventional transition metal catalysts can be understood as a consequence of a scaling relation between the activation energy for N2 dissociation and N adsorption energy found at the surface of these materials. A better catalyst cannot obey this scaling relation. We define the ideal scaling relation characterizing the most active catalyst possible, and show that it is theoretically possible to have a low pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. The challenge is to find new classes of catalyst materials with properties approaching the ideal, and we discuss the possibility that transition metal compounds have such properties.",
author = "Aleksandra Vojvodic and Medford, {Andrew James} and Felix Studt and Frank Abild-Pedersen and Khan, {Tuhin Suvra} and T. Bligaard and N{\o}rskov, {J. K.}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1016/j.cplett.2014.03.003",
language = "English",
volume = "598",
pages = "108--112",
journal = "Chemical Physics Letters",
issn = "0009-2614",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Vojvodic, A, Medford, AJ, Studt, F, Abild-Pedersen, F, Khan, TS, Bligaard, T & Nørskov, JK 2014, 'Exploring the limits: A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process', Chemical Physics Letters, vol. 598, pp. 108-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cplett.2014.03.003

Exploring the limits : A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. / Vojvodic, Aleksandra; Medford, Andrew James; Studt, Felix; Abild-Pedersen, Frank; Khan, Tuhin Suvra; Bligaard, T.; Nørskov, J. K.

In: Chemical Physics Letters, Vol. 598, 2014, p. 108-112.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring the limits

T2 - A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process

AU - Vojvodic, Aleksandra

AU - Medford, Andrew James

AU - Studt, Felix

AU - Abild-Pedersen, Frank

AU - Khan, Tuhin Suvra

AU - Bligaard, T.

AU - Nørskov, J. K.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - The Haber-Bosch process for ammonia synthesis has been suggested to be the most important invention of the 20th century, and called the 'Bellwether reaction in heterogeneous catalysis'. We examine the catalyst requirements for a new low-pressure, low-temperature synthesis process. We show that the absence of such a process for conventional transition metal catalysts can be understood as a consequence of a scaling relation between the activation energy for N2 dissociation and N adsorption energy found at the surface of these materials. A better catalyst cannot obey this scaling relation. We define the ideal scaling relation characterizing the most active catalyst possible, and show that it is theoretically possible to have a low pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. The challenge is to find new classes of catalyst materials with properties approaching the ideal, and we discuss the possibility that transition metal compounds have such properties.

AB - The Haber-Bosch process for ammonia synthesis has been suggested to be the most important invention of the 20th century, and called the 'Bellwether reaction in heterogeneous catalysis'. We examine the catalyst requirements for a new low-pressure, low-temperature synthesis process. We show that the absence of such a process for conventional transition metal catalysts can be understood as a consequence of a scaling relation between the activation energy for N2 dissociation and N adsorption energy found at the surface of these materials. A better catalyst cannot obey this scaling relation. We define the ideal scaling relation characterizing the most active catalyst possible, and show that it is theoretically possible to have a low pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. The challenge is to find new classes of catalyst materials with properties approaching the ideal, and we discuss the possibility that transition metal compounds have such properties.

U2 - 10.1016/j.cplett.2014.03.003

DO - 10.1016/j.cplett.2014.03.003

M3 - Journal article

VL - 598

SP - 108

EP - 112

JO - Chemical Physics Letters

JF - Chemical Physics Letters

SN - 0009-2614

ER -

Vojvodic A, Medford AJ, Studt F, Abild-Pedersen F, Khan TS, Bligaard T et al. Exploring the limits: A low-pressure, low-temperature Haber-Bosch process. Chemical Physics Letters. 2014;598:108-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cplett.2014.03.003