Citation: Tianlun Ren, Youwei Sheng, Mingzhen Wang, Kaili Ren, Lianlian Wang, You Xu. Recent Advances of Cu-Based Materials for Electrochemical Nitrate Reduction to Ammonia[J]. Chinese Journal of Structural Chemistry, ;2022, 41(12): 2212089-2212106. doi: 10.14102/j.cnki.0254-5861.2022-0201 shu

Recent Advances of Cu-Based Materials for Electrochemical Nitrate Reduction to Ammonia

  • Author Bio: Tianlun Ren received his master's degree from Zhejiang University of Technology in 2021. He is currently studying for his Ph.D. degree at Zhejiang University of Technology. His main research work is the design and construction of efficient metal-based electrocatalysts for the electrochemical synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen and nitrate
    Youwei Sheng received his bachelor's degree from Nanjing University Jinling College in 2020. He is currently studying for his master's degree at Zhejiang University of Technology. His main research work focuses on the design and construction of electrocatalysts and their applications in electrochemical ammonia synthesis and electrochemical reduction of CO2
    Mingzhen Wang received his bachelor's degree from Hefei University in 2018 and master's degree from Zhejiang University in 2022. His current research interests include the controlled preparation and construction of non-noble metal-based electrocatalysts for electrocatalytic nitrate reduction for ammonia production
    Kaili Ren received her bachelor's degree from Xinyang Normal University in 2019 and her master's degree from Zhejiang University of Technology in 2022. During the master's degree, her main research work is electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen and electrochemical nitrate reduction to synthesize ammonia
    Lianlian Wang received her Ph.D. degree from Changchun Institute of Optics Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013, and then she became a lecturer at Department of Chemistry, Baotou Teachers' College. Her current research work is the design and construction of nano functional materials and the application in luminescent fields
    You Xu received his Ph.D. degree from Tianjin University (China) in 2014. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) in 2014-2017. Since 2017, he has been an Associate Professor at the College of Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology (China). His research interests include the development of advanced nanomaterials and their hybrids for electrocatalytic applications
  • Corresponding author: Lianlian Wang, You Xu,
  • Received Date: 25 September 2022
    Accepted Date: 12 November 2022
    Available Online: 22 November 2022


  • The pollution of nitrate in groundwater has become an environmental problem of general concern due to adverse human and ecological impacts. Treatment of nitrate-rich wastewater is of significance yet challenging for the conventional biological denitrification processes. Electrocatalytic nitrate-to-ammonia conversion emerges as one of the most promising avenues to remove environmentally harmful nitrate from various types of wastewaters while simultaneously producing value-added ammonia. Cu-based materials show great advantages in promoting selective electroreduction of nitrate to ammonia in terms of high nitrate conversion efficiency, ammonia selectivity and ammonia faradaic efficiency thanks to the 3d transition metal structure, low cost, high reserves, and excellent catalytic performance of Cu. In this review, we comprehensively overview the most recent advances in selective electrocatalytic nitrate-to-ammonia conversion using Cu-based materials. Various kinds of Cu-based materials including monometallic Cu catalysts, bimetallic Cu-based catalysts, Cu-based compounds, and Cu-based inorganic-organic hybrid materials and their derivatives are discussed in detail with emphasis on their structural and compositional features and functional mechanisms in promoting nitrate-to-ammonia conversion. Finally, a brief discussion on future directions, challenges and opportunities in this field is also provided.
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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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