Ammonia Synthesis: State of the Bellwether Reaction
Book chapter, 2013
Catalytic ammonia synthesis has been judged to be one of mankind's greatest scientific achievements during the twentieth century. The socioeconomic implications of producing ammonia industrially have been a strong driving force, and this development has spurred a range of new discoveries within physics, chemistry, and chemical engineering. In this chapter, we describe how it has been possible in recent years to provide a full understanding of the catalytic ammonia synthesis reaction at the atomic level through the combined use of experiments and quantum mechanical electronic structure calculations, thus clearly showing many of the reasons why ammonia synthesis has been, and still is, the bellwether reaction in heterogeneous catalysis.