2023 Wu Emerging novel electrocatalysts in urea production: A perspective

Urea synthesis from abundant CO2 and N-feedstocks via renewable electricity has attracted increasing interests, offering a promising alternative to the industrial-applied Haber-Meiser process. However, the studies toward electrochemical urea production remain scared and appeal for more dedications. Herein, in this perspective, up-to-date overview on the urea electrosynthesis is highlighted and summarized. Firstly, the reaction pathways of urea formation through various feedstocks are comprehensively discussed. Then, we focus on the strategies of materials design to improve C-N coupling efficiency by identifying the descriptor and understanding the reaction mechanism. Finally, the current challenges and disadvantages in such field are reviewed and some future development directions of electrocatalytic urea synthesis are also prospected. This minireview aims to promote the future investigations of the electrochemical urea synthesis.

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