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Ammonia synthesis: The bellwether reaction in heterogeneous catalysis

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This is a personal account of the Havreholm Conference with a choice of topics dealing with catalytic ammonia synthesis. Among the general concepts that were retained are: the rate determining step with rates of adsorption and desorption of nitrogen; the direct activated dissociative adsorption of N2; the surface crystalline anisotropy of iron; the role of promoters in industrial iron based catalysts; and the atomic structure of the metallic surface on the industrial multiply promoted catalyst. Finally, a new isotope jump technique to measure an upper limit to the real turnover frequency is discussed.

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Boudart, M. Ammonia synthesis: The bellwether reaction in heterogeneous catalysis. Top Catal 1, 405–414 (1994).

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