Electrochemical tools to disclose the electrochemical reduction mechanism of CO2 in aprotic solvents and ionic liquids

Silvia Mena, Esteve Ribas, Clara Richart, Iluminada Gallardo, Jordi Faraudo, Scott K. Shaw, Gonzalo Guirado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Carbon dioxide (CO 2) plays a key role in controlling the temperature of the Earth. But the increase in the concentration of CO 2 in the atmosphere brings with it a series of consequences, originating several environmental problems. The use of electrochemical, spectroscopic and molecular dynamics techniques are useful toolkits to valorize carbon dioxide, and to know the reduction mechanism as a function of CO 2 concentration, the cathode nature, and the electrolyte. This manuscript will be mainly centered in the use of ionic liquids (IL) for efficient CO 2 capture and valorization into different valuable products thanks to the CO 2 electrochemical reduction. In this sense, spectroelectrochemistry based on cyclic voltammetry coupled with Polarization Modulation-Infrared Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) and Infrared Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy (IRRAS) appear to be an efficient instrument to follow the CO 2 reactivity in imidazolium ionic liquids. Finally, we present molecular dynamics paired with cyclic voltammetry in order to calculate the diffusion coefficient of CO 2 and the number of electrons involved in its reduction process, respectively. Therefore, the current research opens the door to the use of theoretical-experimental approaches altogether to determine how is the CO 2 reduction mechanism. The CO 2 reduction products in function of the solvent and nature of the cathode is suggested, proving that the product obtained from the electrochemical reduction of CO 2 depends on the electrode material and the solvent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115411
JournalJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2021


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Electrochemistry
  • Ionic liquids
  • Reduction Mechanism


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