Research into the electrochemical synthesis of NH3 focuses mainly on electrolysis cell configurations and materials, catalyst development, strategies for improving the selectivity of the N2 reduction reaction compared with that of water, and verification of the synthesis results. The post-doctorate proposed here will focus on high temperature (400-650°C) proton (H+) and anion (O2-) electrolysis processes offering the possibility of using H2O(g) and/or H2 to reduce N2.
The objectives of these studies will be as follows:
-identifying anionic O2- (SOEC for Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell) and protonic H+ (PCEC for Proton Ceramic Electrolysis Cell) electrolysis cell materials suitable for NH3 synthesis,
-optimisation or development of these cells,
-quantification of the ammonia produced for each cell tested,
-identification of the first-order parameters needed to maximise NH3 production kinetics,
-drawing up a preliminary energy balance for comparison with the conventional Green Habor Bosch process.