MIT ChemE | Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Research Project Title:
Mechanism of Protolysis Reactions in Lithium-Mediated Ammonia Synthesis
abstract:Thermodynamic considerations suggest electrochemical lithium-mediated ammonia synthesis as viable alternative to the currently used Haber-Bosch process that eliminates its high capital costs and reliance on gaseous hydrogen produced from fossil fuels. In my SuperUROP project, I will investigate the role of hydrogen sources in the process, providing insights into the effect of steric and electronic factors on the kinetics and thermodynamics of electrochemical synthesis of ammonia. The understanding obtained will be used to find the set of properties the optimal proton source should have. This will hopefully find application in the design of well-defined catalysts that would allow us to run the process under milder conditions, making water a cheap and sustainable hydrogen source.
"I study chemical engineering because I want to apply chemical knowledge to solve important problems. My SuperUROP project does exactly that in combining several relatively simple reactions into a well-behaved catalytic ammonia synthesis process. I believe my courses in chemistry and thermodynamics, together with the lab classes I have taken, give me a decent background in the field, and I hope to get interesting results by the end of the year."