Electron Donation by Low-Crystalline Ba-La-Ce Oxygen-Deficient Composite Oxide Accumulating on Ru Nanoparticles for Ammonia Synthesis under Mild Conditions

To mitigate global problems related to energy and global warming, it is helpful to develop an ammonia synthesis process using catalysts that are highly active under mild conditions. Here we show that the ammonia synthesis activity of Ru/Ba/LaCeOx pre-reduced at 700 °C is the highest reported among oxide-supported Ru catalysts. Our results indicate that low crystalline oxygen-deficient composite oxides, which include Ba2+, Ce3+ and La3+, with strong electron-donating ability, accumulate on Ru particles and thus promote N≡N bond cleavage, which is the rate determining step for ammonia synthesis.