Sustainable Non-Thermal Plasma-Assisted Nitrogen Fixation—Synergistic Catalysis

Peng Peng, Charles Schiappacasse, Nan Zhou, Min Addy, Yanling Cheng, Yaning Zhang, Kuan Ding, Yunpu Wang, Paul Chen, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this Minireview, the multiple chemical synergies present in catalytic non-thermal plasma-assisted nitrogen fixation (NTPNF) are uncovered through a critical exploration of the underlying mechanisms, during which the catalyst, plasma, and reactants play different roles. For the gas-phase NTPNF, the synergies consist of different aspects of the catalytic pathways such as electron-impact dissociation; Zeldovich mechanism in the PNO interactions; and Eley–Rideal, Langmuir–Hinshelwood, surface adsorption, and diffusion mechanisms for the plasma–catalyst interactions. The synergies within the gas–liquid NTPNF involve contributions of plasma and UV excitation to the gas-phase reactions and the UV excitation of molecules at the liquid–surface interface, which improves synthesis of aqueous nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium products. Based on the various synergistic mechanisms during NTPNF, future potential applications are proposed for how NTPNF could benefit the sustainable nitrogen fixation industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3702-3712
Number of pages11
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 22 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this project was provided in part by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and Innovation Economy (MnDRIVE), an Unfettered Research Grant awarded by the Mistletoe Foundation through its Mistletoe Research Fellowship initiative, and University of Minnesota Center for Biorefining.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • fertilizers
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • nitrogen fixation
  • plasma chemistry
  • synergies

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