Home India IIT Researchers Develop Catalytic Structures to Produce Ammonia From Solar Energy

IIT Researchers Develop Catalytic Structures to Produce Ammonia From Solar Energy

IIT Researchers Develop Catalytic Structures to Produce Ammonia From Solar Energy

Researchers from IIT Mandi, IIT Delhi, and Yogi Vemana University have created an inorganic catalyst that mimics the structure of a leaf and can produce green hydrogen and ammonia when exposed to light. In the esteemed Journal of Materials Chemistry A, the team’s results have been published.

Key Highlight:

  • Researchers from IIT Mandi, IIT Delhi, and Yogi Vemana University have created an inorganic catalyst that mimics the structure of a leaf.
  • This allows for the generation of green hydrogen and ammonia in response to light.
  • The fertilizer business relies heavily on ammonia, produced from hydrogen, as a green energy source.
  • Hydrogen and ammonia are both made using energy-intensive procedures that create greenhouse gases and a lot of heat.

IIT Mandi, IIT Delhi, and Yogi Vemana University have collaborated to create a low-cost inorganic catalyst that mimics the structure of a leaf and allows for the generation of green hydrogen and ammonia in response to light. IIT Mandi’s School of Basic Sciences is home to Dr. Venkata Krishnan, an associate professor who led the study’s research team. The study’s findings have been published in the esteemed Journal of Materials Chemistry A. Dr. Ashish Kumar, an IIT Mandi research scholar, collaborated on the article. Dr. Saswata Bhattacharya and Mr. Manish Kumar, both from IIT Delhi, and Dr. Navakoteswara Rao and Prof. M.V. Shankar, both from Yogi Vemana University in Andhra Pradesh, are also authors on the paper, which they co-authored.

According to IIT Mandi’s news release: “In an article titled “The Photochemistry of the Future,” published in 1912 by pioneering Armenian chemist Giacomo Ciamician, he pushed scientists of the time to consider using sunlight to synthesize compounds, much like plants do during photosynthesis. This problem was solved in the 1970s when researchers discovered that specific light-activated materials called photocatalysts could be used to manufacture chemicals by harvesting the sun’s light energy. This marked the beginning of the era currently known as the photocatalysis era. The number of photocatalysts identified to enable light-enabled processes has increased dramatically since then, and research is ongoing in many areas of photochemical synthesis to identify novel catalysts and improve on current ones.”

According to Dr. Krishnan, “we have been interested in boosting the efficiency of photocatalytic processes for hydrogen and ammonia synthesis because these two chemicals are industrially significant.” The fertilizer business relies heavily on ammonia, produced from hydrogen, as a green energy source. Hydrogen and ammonia are both made using energy-intensive procedures that create greenhouse gases and a lot of heat. These two compounds can be produced with significant savings in energy and costs thanks to photocatalysis. It also has significant environmental advantages.

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