A refreshing approach to probing complex reaction pathways


Previous works The idea of introducing ionic liquid into a solid catalyst can date back to 13 years ago, when Prof. Etzold was one of the pioneers in proposing the “solid catalyst with ionic liquid layer (SCILL)” concept for modulating a heterogeneous catalyst (Ni/SiO2) for a selective hydrogenation reaction (Chem. Eng. Technol. 2007, 30, 985-994). Inspired by the great success of the SCILL concept in thermal catalysis, Etzoldlab transferred this concept into electrocatalysis and demonstrated that the presence of a subtle amount of ionic liquid can dramatically boost the activity of carbon supported Pt catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, which represents a major bottleneck for the low temperature fuel cell technology.

The ionic liquid acts as a chemical trapping agent, selectively suppressing the formation of C2+ products that involve carbene as a key intermediate.