Molybdenum on solid support materials for catalytic hydrogenation of N₂-into-NH₃

Luigi Cavallo, Luis Azofra Mesa, Natalia Sanchez Morlanes, Albert Poater, Manoja Samantaray, Balamurugan Vidjayacoumar, Khalid Albahily, Jean-Marie Basset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Very stable in-operando and low-loaded atomic molybdenum on solid support materials have been prepared and tested to be catalytically active for N₂-into-NH₃ hydrogenation. Ammonia synthesis is reported at atmospheric pressure and 400°C with NH₃ rates of ca. 1.3·10³ μmol h¯¹ gMo¯¹ using a well-defined Mo-hydride grafted on silica (SiO₂-700). DFT modelling on the reaction mechanism suggests that N₂ spontaneously binds on monopodal [(≡Si-O-)MoH₃]. Based on calculations, the fourth hydrogenation step involving the release of the first NH₃ molecule represents the rate-limiting step of the whole reaction. The inclusion of cobalt co-catalyst and an alkali caesium additive impregnated on mesoporous SBA-15 support increases the formation of NH₃ with rates of ca. 3.5·10³ μmol h¯¹ gMo¯¹ under similar operating conditions and maximum yield of 29·10³ μmol h¯¹ gMo¯¹ when pressure is increased to 30 atm.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15812-15816
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 5 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Authors acknowledge SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for support. Gratitude is also due to the KAUST Supercomputing Laboratory using the supercomputer Shaheen II for providing the computational resources. A.P. also thanks the Spanish MINECO for a project CTQ2014-59832-JIN.


Dive into the research topics of 'Molybdenum on solid support materials for catalytic hydrogenation of N₂-into-NH₃'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this