Catalytic reduction of NH4NO3 by NO: Effects of solid acids and implications for low temperature DeNOx processes

Aditya Savara, Mei Jun Li, Wolfgang M.H. Sachtler, Eric Weitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Ammonium nitrate is thermally stable below 250 °C and could potentially deactivate low temperature NOx reduction catalysts by blocking active sites. It is shown that NO reduces neat NH4NO3 above its 170 °C melting point, while acidic solids catalyze this reaction even at temperatures below 100 °C. NO2, a product of the reduction, can dimerize and then dissociate in molten NH4NO3 to NO+ + NO3-, and may be stabilized within the melt as either an adduct or as HNO2 formed from the hydrolysis of NO+ or N2O4. The other product of reduction, NH4NO2, readily decomposes at ≤100 °C to N2 and H2O, the desired end products of DeNOx catalysis. A mechanism for the acid catalyzed reduction of NH4NO3 by NO is proposed, with HNO3 as an intermediate. These findings indicate that the use of acidic catalysts or promoters in DeNOx systems could help mitigate catalyst deactivation at low operating temperatures (<150 °C).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 24 2008


  • Ammonium nitrate
  • Ammonium nitrite
  • DeNO
  • NO
  • NO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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