Abstract: Conversion of naturally abundant nitrogen (N2) into ammonia (NH3) is a vital (bio)chemical process to sustainable life, and it remains as a grand challenge in chemistry and biology. Although electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR) provides an intriguing blueprint for the sustainable conversion of N2 into NH3 by sidestepping the hydrogen- and energy-intensive operations of the Haber–Bosch process, it is severely challenged by (1) the continuous energy supply consumption deriving from fossil fuels and (2) the dependence on metal-based catalysts for the nitrogen activation and reduction reaction. From energy- and resource-saving perspectives, self-powered NRR system with metal-free electrocatalysts is strongly desired. Herein, we tacitly integrate 3D printing technology with personalized fabrication of printed triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) for self-powered NRR. The printed TENGs produce an output power density from 1.48 to 6.7?W?m−2 and the assembled self-powered N2 fixation system could reach NH3 yield of 36.41?μg?h−1?mg–1cat., representing a pioneering step toward perfect marriage of digital manufactured TENGs by 3D printing with self-powered sustainable metal-free NRR under ambient conditions. The present work highlights various accesses to the flexible, shape-adaptive, personalized, energy-/resource-saving integration of 3D-printed TENGs with metal-free electrocatalysts to self-power N2 fixation.


Self-power electroreduction of N2 into NH3 by 3D printed triboelectric nanogenerators
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2019.05.004