Co/Ba/La2O3 catalyst for ammonia synthesis under mild reaction conditions

06 December 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Ruthenium catalysts may allow realization of renewable energy–based ammonia synthesis processes using mild reaction conditions (<400 °C, <10 MPa). However, ruthenium is relatively rare and therefore expensive. Here, we report a Co nanoparticle catalyst loaded on a basic Ba/La2O3 support and pre-reduced at 700 °C (Co/Ba/La2O3_700red) that showed higher ammonia synthesis activity at 350 °C and 1.0–3.0 MPa than two benchmark Ru catalysts, Cs+/Ru/MgO and Ru/CeO2. The synthesis rate of the catalyst at 350 °C and 1.0 MPa (19.3 mmol h−1g−1) was 8.0 times that of Co/Ba/La2O3_500red and 6.9 times that of Co/La2O3_700red. The catalyst showed activity at temperatures down to 200 °C. High-temperature reduction induced formation of a BaO-La2O3 nano-fraction around the Co nanoparticles, which increased turnover frequency, inhibited Co nanoparticle sintering, and suppressed ammonia poisoning. These strategies may also be appliable to nickel catalysts.


renewable energy
hydrogen carrier
ammonia fuel
heterogeneous catalysis
Co catalyst


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