Molybdenum on solid support materials for catalytic hydrogenation of N₂-into-NH₃

Luigi Cavallo, Luis Azofra Mesa, Natalia Sanchez Morlanes, Albert Poater, Manoja Samantaray, Balamurugan Vidjayacoumar, Khalid Albahily, Jean-Marie Basset

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42 Scopus citations


Very stable in-operando and low-loaded atomic molybdenum on solid support materials have been prepared and tested to be catalytically active for N₂-into-NH₃ hydrogenation. Ammonia synthesis is reported at atmospheric pressure and 400°C with NH₃ rates of ca. 1.3·10³ μmol h¯¹ gMo¯¹ using a well-defined Mo-hydride grafted on silica (SiO₂-700). DFT modelling on the reaction mechanism suggests that N₂ spontaneously binds on monopodal [(≡Si-O-)MoH₃]. Based on calculations, the fourth hydrogenation step involving the release of the first NH₃ molecule represents the rate-limiting step of the whole reaction. The inclusion of cobalt co-catalyst and an alkali caesium additive impregnated on mesoporous SBA-15 support increases the formation of NH₃ with rates of ca. 3.5·10³ μmol h¯¹ gMo¯¹ under similar operating conditions and maximum yield of 29·10³ μmol h¯¹ gMo¯¹ when pressure is increased to 30 atm.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15812-15816
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 5 2018


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