Carlos Sanchez - Electrolyte engineering for electrochemical CO2 reduction
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Ionic liquids(ILs) in electrocatalysis have attracted a lot of attention from the seminal work of Rosen et al.  where they achieved arelevant overpotential decrease for CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR)on a silver electrode. Moreover, ILs have been proposed as organic promoters forenhancing the catalytic activity by modifying the electrostatic properties atthe electrochemical interface. Then, electrolyte engineering has become apowerful way to impact on the stability of reaction intermediates and controlreaction selectivity.
The role ofdifferent ILs as simultaneous supporting electrolyte and co-catalyst inacetonitrile for CO2 electroreduction in the presence of a modelmolecular catalyst [Re(bpy)(CO)3Cl]is presented here.  In particular, the nature of the cation, anion andcation alkyl chain is varied by a choice of 5 different ILs, includingimidazolium and pyrrolidinium cations and their results are compared toconventional benchmark supporting electrolyte. Under catalytic conditions anoverpotential diminution of 0.33 Vfor CO2 to CO conversion is achieved in the presence of ILs. Finally,a mechanistic explanation is provided to justify this behaviour.
 Rosen,B.A.; Salehi-Khojin, A.; Thorson, M.R.; Zhu, W.; Whipple, D.T.; Kenis, P.J.A.;Masel, R.I. Science 2011, 334 (6056), 643.
 Vichou,E.; Xu-Li, Y.; Gomez-Mingot, M.; Fontecave, M.; Sánchez-Sánchez, C.M. J. Phys. Chem. C 2020, 124, 23764.
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