A paper on Strategies to improve the catalytic activity of Fe-based catalysts for Nitrogen Reduction Reaction has been just published on the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
In this work Fe-based nanoparticles with different morphology are deposited on carbon cloth via drop-casting and chemical reduction. The catalyst activity has been evaluated by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry. As effective strategy to improve the catalytic activity, the morphology and particle size have been optimized and an electrochemical activation procedure has been implemented. Activation increases the available active sites and is related to higher amount of oxygen vacancies and Fe+2/Fe+3 ratio. Catalysts with optimized morphology produce ammonia at −0.35 V vs RHE with yield of 26.44 μg mgcat−1h−1 and Faradaic efficiency of 20.4%, more than five times higher than without activation.