Non aqueous Li-mediated nitrogen reduction: Taking control of potentials

05 December 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The performance of the Li-mediated ammonia synthesis has progressed dramatically since its recent reintroduction. However, fundamental understanding of this reaction is slower paced, due to the many uncontrolled variables influencing it. To address this, we developed a true non-aqueous LiFePO4 reference electrode, providing both a redox anchor from which to measure potentials against, and estimates of energy efficiency loss sources. We demonstrate its stable electrochemical potential in operation using different N2- and H2-saturated electrolytes. Using this reference, we uncover the relation between partial current density and potentials. Whilst the counter electrode potential increases linearly with current, the working electrode remains stable at lithium plating, suggesting it to be the only electrochemical step involved in this process. We also use the LiFePO4/Li+ equilibrium as a tool to probe Li-ion activity changes in situ. We hope to drive the field towards more defined systems to allow a holistic understanding of this reaction.


electrochemical nitrogen reduction
nitrogen reduction
electrochemical ammonia synthesis
ammonia synthesis
reference electrode
non-aqueous reference electrode
lithium mediated

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Information - Non aqueous Li-mediated nitrogen reduction Taking control of potentials
Supplementary information to the manuscript "Non aqueous Li-mediated nitrogen reduction Taking control of potentials"


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