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Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University report that a newly engineered catalyst made of gold nanoparticles supported on a metal oxide framework shows breakdown of ammonia impurities in air, with excellent selectivity for conversion to nitrogen gas. Importantly, it is effective at room temperature, making it suitable for everyday air purification systems. The team successfully identified the mechanism behind this behavior, paving the way toward the design of other novel catalytic materials.
Ammonia is a common industrial chemical, primarily used as feedstock for fertilizers as well as disinfectants in both household and medical settings. It is also highly toxic when concentrated; the United States Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration has a strict upper limit of 50 parts per million in breathing air averaged over an eight-hour working day and forty-hour working week. Given its wide industrial use and presence in nature, it is paramount that effective measures be in place to remove unwanted ammonia from the atmosphere in everyday working and living environments.
Catalysts - Converters - Cars - Problem - Filters
Catalysts, like those found in the catalytic converters of cars, can help solve this problem. Unlike filters that simply trap harmful substances, catalytic filters can help break ammonia down into harmless products like nitrogen gas and water. Not only is it safer, preventing the buildup of toxic chemicals, it also makes it unnecessary to replace them regularly. However, common existing catalysts for ammonia only function at temperatures of over...
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