Direct reduction of carbon dioxide to formate in high-gas-capacity ionic liquids at post-transition-metal electrodes

John D Watkins, Andrew B Bocarsly
ChemSusChem 2014, 7 (1): 284-90
As an approach to combat the increasing emissions of carbon dioxide in the last 50 years, the sequestration of carbon dioxide gas in ionic liquids has become an attractive research area. Ionic liquids can be made that possess incredibly high molar absorption and specificity characteristics for carbon dioxide. Their high carbon dioxide solubility and specificity combined with their high inherent electrical conductivity also creates an ideal medium for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Herein, a lesser studied ionic liquid, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoroacetate, was used as both an effective carbon dioxide capture material and subsequently as an electrochemical matrix with water for the direct reduction of carbon dioxide into formate at indium, tin, and lead electrodes in good yield (ca. 3 mg h(-1) cm(-2)).

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