Heterogeneous Catalyst-Modified Anode in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Simultaneous Ammonia Synthesis and Energy Conversion

Or Rahumi, Manasa Kumar Rath, Alexey Kossenko, Michael Zinigrad, Konstantin Borodianskiy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An innovative and cost-efficient method of coproduction of electricity and ammonia through solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) by implementing a transition metal nitride (MnxNy) catalyst on the fuel electrode is the focus of the work. Breaking molecular nitrogen (N≡N) with a simultaneous enhancement in the electrochemical performance of the Ni-ScSZ-supported-SOFC was achieved by using transition metal nitride (Mn4N) catalysts on the fuel electrode. Ex situ X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the chemical stability of the MnxNy catalyst under H2 and N2 atmospheres under cell operating conditions. The nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR) at the Mn4N active sites was measured via hydrogenation of lattice nitrogen and formation of metallic Mn followed by renitrification of the catalyst. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis of the catalyst-modified cell revealed improved hydrogen oxidation reaction activity and NRR during cell operation. The cell exhibited peak power densities of 539 and 374 mW·cm-2 for humidified (3 wt %) H2 and a dry N2/H2 (1:1) mixture, respectively. Furthermore, a high rate of ammonia production of 1.63 × 10-9 mol·cm-2·s-1 and a power density of 348 mW·cm-2 were achieved when the cell was operated at 800 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14081-14093
Number of pages13
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number38
StatePublished - 25 Sep 2023


  • EIS
  • XPS
  • ammonia synthesis
  • catalyst-modified anode
  • solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)
  • transition metal nitride catalyst
  • whole powder pattern fitting


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