Bulk phase behavior of lithium imide–metal nitride ammonia decomposition catalysts

Joshua W. Makepeace, Thomas J. Wood, Phillip L. Marks, Ronald I. Smith, Claire A. Murray, William I. F. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
127 Downloads (Pure)


Lithium imide is a promising new catalyst for the production of hydrogen from ammonia. Its catalytic activity has been reported to be significantly enhanced through its use as a composite with various transition metal nitrides. In this work, two of these composite catalysts (with manganese nitride and iron nitride) were examined using in situ neutron and X-ray powder diffraction experiments in order to explore the bulk phases present during ammonia decomposition. Under such conditions, the iron composite was found to be a mixture of lithium imide and iron metal, while the manganese composite contained lithium imide and manganese nitride at low temperatures, and a mixture of lithium imide and two ternary lithium–manganese nitrides (LixMn2−xN and a small proportion of Li7MnN4) at higher temperatures. The results indicate that the bulk formation of a ternary nitride is not necessary for ammonia decomposition in lithium imide–transition metal catalyst systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22689-22697
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number35
Early online date23 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2018


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