Huolin Xin, UCI assistant professor of physics & astronomy, and colleagues have come up with a way to more sustainably produce ammonia using atoms of molybdenum as a catalyst for electrochemical conversion. Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The ammonia you use to clean and disinfect your kitchen floor starts off as nitrogen, a gas that makes up almost 80 percent of Earth’s atmosphere. But the conversion requires the breaking of a strong triple-chemical bond in a high-heat, high-pressure industrial process. UCI physicist Huolin Xin worked with his colleagues at Brookhaven National Laboratory to come up with a new, more sustainable way of producing ammonia, which is also a key ingredient in crop fertilizers.