Development of new photocatalytic reactions involving nitrogen

The decomposition of nitrate ions is an important reaction in terms of water treatment and other applications. On the other hand, ammonia is attracting attention as a new energy carrier, and its decomposition can produce hydrogen. Therefore, we are developing photocatalysts that are highly active in the decomposition of nitrate ions and ammonia containing nitrogen. Furthermore, we are also working on the most difficult reaction, the nitrogen fixation reaction at room temperature and pressure using water as an electron source (hydrogen source). We have found that La-doped NaTaO3 photocatalysts and BaLa4Ti4O15 photocatalysts, as shown in Fig. 1, are active for nitrate ion decomposition under UV irradiation.

Fig. 1 Nitrate ion decomposition using Ni/BaLa4Ti4O15

We have also found that ZnS photocatalysts loaded with Ru auxocatalysts are active for solar ammonia degradation, as shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Solar ammonia decomposition using Ru/ZnS


  1. M. Oka, Y. Miseki, K. Saito, A. Kudo, Appl. Catal. B 2015, 179, 407.
  2. A. Iwase, K. Ii, A. Kudo, Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 6117.