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STEP Ammonia ChemRxiv 2018.pdf (1.88 MB)
Solar Electrochemical Thermal Process (STEP) Ammonia: Optimization of the Electrolysis Conditions
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submitted on 24.06.2018 and posted on 25.06.2018by Fang-Fang Li, Richa Singhal, Jiawen Ren, Marcus Johnson, Matthew Lefler, Stuart Licht
In the solar thermal electrochemical process (STEP), sunlight is split
into visible (for photovoltaic electricity) and thermal (unused, sub-bandgap)
radiation using the full solar spectrum to efficiently drive high temperature
electrolyzes. Electrolysis conditions for STEP ammonia are investigated. A
mixed molten carbonate/hydroxide electrolyte with iron oxide catalyzes ammonia
formation from water (steam) and air (nitrogen) via an iron intermediate. The higher temperature required for
effective iron formation needs to be balanced by the lower temperature for
effective hydration of the electrolyte. STEP ammonia is illustrated at a nickel
anode and steel cathode at 650 °C in Li1.6Ba0.3Ca0.1CO3
with 6m LiOH and 1.5m Fe2O3.