Ammonia generation via a graphene-coated nickel catalyst

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A novel graphene-coated Ni electrode was developed in this investigation to improve corrosion resistance while unexpectedly enhancing the ammonia generation rate in the electrochemically induced urea to ammonia (eU2A) process, which is an electrochemical onsite ammonia generation method. The development of the electrode is crucial for the eU2A reactions since in the ammonia generation process, the concentration of ammonia is inevitably high on the surface of the electrode, leading to severe corrosion of the electrode and the loss of generated ammonia as well. In this paper, the graphene was derived from raw coal by using the chemical vapor deposition method and self-lifted onto a Ni electrode to form a protective layer for corrosion prevention. Transmission electron microscopy showed the synthesized graphene had few-layers and Raman spectroscopy indicated that the coating of graphene was stable during the eU2A reaction. As a result, the ammonia corrosion of the Ni electrode was dramatically reduced by ~20 times with the graphene coating method. More importantly, a higher ammonia generation rate (~2 times) was achieved using the graphene-coated Ni working electrode compared to a bare Ni electrode in the eU2A process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Ammonia corrosion
  • Ammonia generation
  • Chemical vapor deposition
  • Graphene coated Ni
  • Urea to ammonia


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