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Industrial ammonia production

Research Achievements

Industrial ammonia production

Between 1-2% of the world's energy goes into making ammonia for artificial fertilizers, which are needed to feed the world's population. Industrial ammonia production has a high energy cost, so lower energy alternatives are sought. Work in the Tyler lab (UO Chemistry) has shown that iron-phosphine molecules do make ammonia at low temperatures and pressures (i.e., low energy). It has been a challenge to increase the amount of ammonia produced. During Chantal Balesdent's IGERT fellowship, she has determined the most accurate and simplest way to measure ammonia for their system, allowing the Tyler group to test what factors lead to greater amounts of ammonia. As an IGERT trainee, Balesdent was encouraged to consult with researchers in fields with more electrochemical expertise. She used the information she gained to set up an electrochemistry system under required air-free conditions to analyze the electron transfers that must take place for dinitrogen reduction to ammonia to occur.