Reaction pathway of nitrate and ammonia formation in the plasma electrolysis process with nitrogen and oxygen gas injection

Nelson Saksono, Harianingsih, Bening Farawan, Veny Luvita, Zainal Zakaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: The plasma electrolysis method using N2 and O2 injection is an effective and environmentally friendly solution for nitrogen fixation into nitrate and ammonia. The reaction pathway, the effect of the N2 and O2 gas injection composition are important parameters in understanding the mechanism and effectiveness of these processes. This study aims to determine the formation pathway of nitrate and ammonia by observing the formation and role of reactive species as well as intermediate compounds. Two reaction pathways of NOx and ammonia formation have been observed. The NOx compound formed in the solution was oxidized by ∙OH to NO2, followed by the production of a stable nitrate compound. The ammonium produced from the ammonia pathway was generated from nitrogen reacting with ∙H from H2O. The amount of NH3 formed was lesser compared to the NOx compounds in the liquid and gas phases. This indicates that the NOx pathway is more dominant than that of ammonia. The gas injection test with a ratio of N2/O2 = 79/21 was the most effective for nitrate formation compared to another ratio. The results of the emission intensity measurement test show that the reactive species ∙N, ∙N2*, ∙N2+, ∙OH, and ∙O have a significant role in the nitrate formation through the NOx pathway, while the reactive species ∙N and ∙H lead to the formation of NH3. The highest nitrate product was obtained at a ratio of N2/O2: 79/21 by 1889 mg L−1, while the highest ammonia product reached 31.5 mg L−1 at 100% N2 injection. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1191
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Electrochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Ammonia
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Plasma electrolysis
  • Reactive species


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