Effect of catalyst on electrolysis of ammonia effluents

Egilda P. Bonnin, Elizabeth J. Biddinger, Gerardine G. Botte

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The electrolysis of ammonia (NH3) was studied as a remediation process for the removal of ammonia from wastewater, with the advantage of producing hydrogen while returning clean water to the environment. An electro-catalyst able to support the electro-oxidation of ammonia at low concentrations was designed. Two substrates were tested, Raney nickel and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber was found to be a better substrate for the electrolysis of ammonia at low concentrations. The performance of noble metals such as Rh, Pt and Ir, electroplated on the carbon fiber substrate was also evaluated. Rh-Pt-Ir and Pt-Ir on carbon fiber substrate were found to be the most promising electrodes for the electrolysis of ammonia at low concentrations. The maximum ammonia conversion was 91.49 ± 0.01% for a typical concentration of ammonia found in sewage water and the Faradaic efficiency was 91.81 ± 0.13% on the selected anode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 15 2008


  • Ammonia effluents
  • Ammonia electrolysis
  • Carbon fiber electrodes
  • Electro-deposition
  • Hydrogen production
  • Wastewater treatment


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