Electrochemical urea production using carbon dioxide and nitrate: state of the art and perspectives

Mohsin Muhyuddin, Giovanni Zuccante, Piercarlo Mustarelli, Jonathan Filippi, Alessandro Lavacchi, Lior Elbaz, Yu Han Chen, Plamen Atanassov, Carlo Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Complete decarbonization of hard-to-abate industrial sectors is critical to reach the carbon neutrality goal set for 2050. The production of nitrogen-containing fertilizers (N-fertilizers) is responsible for 2.1% of the overall global carbon dioxide emissions. Urea is the most common N-fertilizer, and it is currently produced through the Bosch-Meiser process starting from ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Electrochemical production of urea can reduce drastically the emission of greenhouse gases and the energy required for the process. Promising results were recently reported using nitrate (NO3) and CO2 as reagents with increasing production rate and faradaic efficiency. In this mini-review, we summarize the most recent studies, including reaction mechanisms, electrocatalysts, and detection methods, highlighting the challenges in the field. A roadmap for future developments is envisioned with the scope of reaching industrial requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3739-3752
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry

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