Solar Energy & Advanced Materials Research Group


Elan Mistry


Elan Mistry obtained both his BSc and ARCS degree and MRes in Nanomaterials degree from Imperial College London within the Chemistry department. His previous work includes the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4) utilising boron nitride as a photocatalyst. He is currently a PhD student within Professor Junwang Tang's group at the Department of Chemical Engineering of UCL, focusing his research on photoelectrochemical reduction of nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3).

Research project

Title: Photoelectrochemical Reduction of Nitrogen to Ammonia

Ammonia is an important reagent utilised as an industrial precursor for fertilisers and many household chemicals; it also holds potential as a carbon-free energy source. The reduction process of nitrogen to ammonia is dominated by the Haber Bosch process (HBP) whereby temperatures of 300-500 °C and pressures of 150-200 atm are utilised to improve the reaction kinetics and to shift the reaction equilibrium. These strenuous conditions are required due to the stability of the N≡N triple bond of the N2 molecule. Also, the energy requirement for the HBP accounts for more than 1% of the global energy consumption and simultaneously emits substantial quantities of CO2. Photoelectrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia is an approach recently explored; however, the technique suffers from poor efficiencies due to poor catalyst selectivity, leading to competitive water-splitting and slow reaction kinetics. Throughout this project, the development of future catalyst technologies for ammonia synthesis will be undertaken. The ammonia synthesis reactions will involve the utilisation of renewable energy, enabling a carbon-neutral and energy-efficient process that can operate under ambient conditions.


BSc and ARCS in Chemistry, Imperial College London, 2018

MRes in Nanomaterials, Imperial College London, 2020