Recent progress of plasma-assisted nitrogen fixation research: A review

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Abstract

Nitrogen is an essential element to plants, animals, human beings and all the other living things on earth. Nitrogen fixation, which converts inert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia or other valuable substances, is a very important part of the nitrogen cycle. The Haber-Bosch process plays the dominant role in the chemical nitrogen fixation as it produces a large amount of ammonia to meet the demand from the agriculture and chemical industries. However, due to the high energy consumption and related environmental concerns, increasing attention is being given to alternative (greener) nitrogen fixation processes. Among different approaches, plasma-assisted nitrogen fixation is one of the most promising methods since it has many advantages over others. These include operating at mild operation conditions, a green environmental profile and suitability for decentralized production. This review covers the research progress in the field of plasma-assisted nitrogen fixation achieved in the past five years. Both the production of NOx and the synthesis of ammonia are included, and discussion on plasma reactors, operation parameters and plasma-catalysts are given. In addition, outlooks and suggestions for future research are also given.

Original languageEnglish
Article number248
Number of pages25
JournalProcesses
Volume6
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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Keywords

  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Novel reactors
  • Plasma reactors
  • Process intensification

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