I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Paul Chirik of Cornell University and his colleagues have found a new reaction that forms a carbon-nitrogen bond directly from diatomic nitrogen. Usually, the Haber–Bosch process is used to create ammonia and then that is used to synthesize whatever other chemical is desired. This new reaction uses a complex of hafnium and N2 in solution, to which they add carbon monoxide. While it is less efficient than Haber-Bosch if you just want ammonia, it's also more direct, because you don't have to form a nitrogen-hydrogen bond just to replace the hydrogen with carbon later. The full paper can be found in the December 13th issue of Nature Chemistry."
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