Cover Feature: Electrochemical Reduction of 4‐Nitrobenzyl Phenyl Thioether for Activation and Capture of CO 2 (ChemElectroChem 14/2021)

Silvia Mena, Cyril Louault, Verónica Mesa, Iluminada Gallardo, Gonzalo Guirado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this work, a new simple molecule, 4-nitrobenzyl phenyl thioether (1), is prepared and used for controlling and tuning CO 2 reactivity in function of the electrode potential. The first part of the study is devoted to determining the electrochemical reduction mechanism of 1 in N,N-dimethylformamide under nitrogen. The compound shows a first reversible one-electron transfer process, whereas the reaction cleavage of the C−S bond takes place after a second electron transfer process through a stepwise mechanism (thermodynamic and kinetic parameters are conveniently determined). In the second part of the study, the inert atmosphere was replaced by a CO 2 atmosphere. At low potential values, compound 1 acts as a redox mediator that allows the reduction of CO 2 at ca. −1.2 V vs. SCE. The electrochemical generation of 1 2− at more negative potential values leads to a C−S bond cleavage reaction that yields the corresponding nitrobenzyl and thiosulfate anions, which react with CO 2. The nitro aromatic anion derivative makes it possible to obtain electrocarboxylated derivatives, whereas the thiophenolate anion captures CO 2 reversibly. Hence, this research opens a new way of tuning and controlling the reaction processes associated with CO 2 from homogenous catalysis at low negative potentials, to electrocarboxylation processes passing to CO 2 reversible electrochemically triggered adsorption processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2649-2661
Number of pages13
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2021


  • CO capture
  • carbon dioxide
  • carbon−sulfur cleavage
  • electrocarboxylation
  • electrochemistry
  • homogeneous catalysis


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