Sustainable nitrate production out of thin air: The photocatalytic oxidation of molecular nitrogen



Novel processes for the sustainable production of fertilizers are highly sought after to combat climate change. Herein, we demonstrate that by irradiating with strong UVA-light, TiO2 is able to photocatalytically oxidize molecular nitrogen in the gas phase under ambient conditions to NOx and nitrate. The reaction produces predominantly nitrogen dioxide with a high selectivity of up to 93% which could be captured afterwards to produce nitric acid or nitrates and used as sustainable (solar) fertilizer.


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Supplementary material

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Supporting Information
Information on the experimental details, the control experiments and the determination of the nitrate balance.