Here's some background on the Bosch Haber process.
Whether a reaction will occur is based on whether energy is required and whether the reaction increases entropy. In the case of nitrogen+hydrogen => ammonia, the reaction is both exothermic and increases entropy at room temperature and pressure. If one could somehow ignite the process it would be self-sustaining.
The problem is, to ignite the reaction you first need to break N2 molecules into individual N atoms, and this requires a great deal of initial energy which is regained in subsequent steps. Something like 7eV per molecule to break them apart. The molecules in normal air have a bell-curve spread of energies, but very few of them reach energies this high: the reaction happens at room temperature, but very *very* slowly. A handful of molecules per second will react.
To get around this you can raise the temperature, increasing the probability that molecules will have enough energy to break apart. The entropy produced is inversely proportional to temperature, so when you start to have N2 molecules with enough energy to break apart, the reaction is no longer favored because it would result in an entropy decrease.
Since 4 moles of reactants result in 1 mole of product, increasing the pressure of the reactants will tend to favor the products, so you can use this to offset the deficit in entropy.
The Bosch-Haber process tries to find a "sweet spot" by increasing the temperature to get a reasonable number of N2 molecules to break apart, and high pressure to make the process favor the products.
At 200 ATM and 400 degrees, the yield is 15% (!).
Reaction vessels for this pressure and temperature are expensive, and the process requires multiple cycles of compression, decompression, removal of ammonia, and recompression. This takes a *lot* of energy and uses *very* expensive compressors which wear out over time and have to be replaced.
I haven't read the paywalled article yet, but if I'm understanding the abstract, they are breaking apart the nitrogen electrochemically. Just as running a current through molten NaCl will break it into atomic sodium and chlorine, running a current through nitrogen dissolved in KOH and NaOH breaks it apart and the reaction then proceeds at normal conditions. The reaction also supplies its own hydrogen by breaking apart water.
Much of the "green revolution" is due to the use of nitrate fertilizers, and the source material is finite: guano from Peru, for example.
If this process is as efficient as the abstract suggests and can be industrialized, it would be *huge*. It would give us an essentially infinite source of nitrogen-based fertilizer and reduce the worldwide consumption of energy by a couple of percent.
Coupled with a source of renewable energy, it would mean that the world could sustain its food production at current levels indefinitely.
This could be really, *really* big news.