The oxygen reduction reaction has been the subject of intensive research during decades due to their importance in life processes such as biological respiration, and also as a cathodic process in energy storage devices (e.g. fuel cells and air batteries). Detailed reviews on the oxygen reduction reaction in aqueous and non-aqueous media are available in the literature but it is lacking in the case of ionic liquids. Therefore a comprehensive review on the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in ionic liquids is described in this chapter in order to compile the state of the art from a fundamental point of view and improve the current knowledge towards not only fundamental but also practical applications. The oxygen reduction reaction mechanism in neat imidazolium, pyrrolidinium, quaternary ammonium, and phosphonium-based ionic liquids, which mainly undergo one-electron pathway leading to the generation of superoxide anion (O2•-), is the main topic of this chapter. The reversibility of the O2/O2•- redox couple is highly dependent on the composition of the ionic liquid, as an example superoxide is more stable in the presence of aliphatic and alicyclic cations than in the presence of aromatic rings. Furthermore, the influence of protic and aprotic additives in the ORR mechanism is also explained in this chapter together with the influence in electrochemical parameters such as formal potential, E0'.
Field of Research
030102 Electroanalytical Chemistry
Socio Economic Objective
970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences
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