Electrosynthesis is frequently presented as an intrinsically sustainable, safe and efficient method. While this is indeed often the case, this assessment cannot be easily generalized, as a number of challenges need to be addressed on the way to more efficient and truly sustainable processes.
These challenges comprise the necessity for employing large amounts of supporting electrolyte additives along with the concomitant separation and waste issues. A further problem is the kinetic inhibition of the heterogeneous electron exchange, which in many instances leads to a decreased selectivity
and an increased energy consumption ( 'overpotential' ). Another challenge is the apparent restriction of electrosynthesis to redox reactions, which seems to exclude important redox-neutral processes such as rearrangements, cycloadditions and substitutions from the scope of applications. Herein,
catalytic approaches and electrolyte concepts are presented, which can help to overcome the abovementioned issues. For illustration of the principles, examples from our recent research activities are used.
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Document Type: Research Article
Institute of Chemistry, Rostock University, Albert-Einstein-Str. 3a, 18059 Rostock, Germany;, Email: [email protected]
February 1, 2020
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International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions
CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.
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