Abhishek Banerjee and Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, and colleagues have shown that chalcogels containing inorganic FeMoS clusters are capable of photochemically reducing N2 to NH3 when irradiated by white light at room temperature, ambient pressure, and in aqueous media. Chalcogel is a light-absorbing, porous, amorphous solid composed of Mo2Fe6S8 clusters linked by Sn2S6 ligands.
According to the researchers, the ammonia production is too slowly for industrial use but the material remained stable with no loss of activity during a 72-hour test. The results show that light-driven nitrogen conversion to ammonia by MoFe sulfides is possible.
- Photochemical Nitrogen Conversion to Ammonia in Ambient Conditions with FeMoS-Chalcogels,
Abhishek Banerjee, Benjamin D. Yuhas, Eric A Margulies, Yongbo Zhang, Yurina Shim, Michael R. Wasielewski, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015.