Nitrogen is fundamental to all of life and many industrial processes. The interchange of nitrogen oxidation states in the industrial production of ammonia, nitric acid, and other commodity chemicals is largely powered by fossil fuels. A key goal of contemporary research in the field of nitrogen chemistry is to minimize the use of fossil fuels by developing more efficient heterogeneous, homogeneous, photo-, and electrocatalytic processes or by adapting the enzymatic processes underlying the natural nitrogen cycle. These approaches, as well as the challenges involved, are discussed in this Review.
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