Electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 in neat and water-containing imidazolium-based ionic liquids

Marco Papasizza, Xiaohui Yang, Jun Cheng*, Angel Cuesta Ciscar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Energetically efficient electrochemical reduction of CO2 would offer the possibility of storing electricity from renewables in the form of fuels and other valuable chemicals. It may also help mitigate the increase of atmospheric CO2 associated with global warming. However, the process suffers from a low energy efficiency due to the large overpotentials required. In aqueous electrolytes, the competing hydrogen evolution reaction also decreases the faradaic efficiency (which contributes to the low energy efficiency of the process). Recent claims of high faradaic efficiency and low overpotentials for the reduction of CO2 in room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) and RTIL-water mixtures have spurred considerable research. Here, we offer a critical review of those claims and of recent work aimed at understanding the details of this important reaction in these non-conventional electrolytes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Electrochemistry
Early online date30 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note


The support of the University of Aberdeen and the Leverhulme Trust (Grant RPG-2015-040) is gratefully acknowledged.


  • CO reduction reaction
  • Computational methods
  • In situ spectroscopy
  • Room-temperature ionic liquids


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