The electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen at activated platinum electrodes in room temperature ionic liquids as solvents

D.S. Silvester, K.R. Ward, Leigh Aldous, Christopher Hardacre, R.G. Compton

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The oxidation of hydrogen was studied at an activated platinum micro-electrode by cyclic voltammetry in the following ionic liquids: [C(2)mim][NTf2], [C(4)mim][NTf2], [N-][NTf2], [P-][NTf2], [C(4)mim][OTf], [C(4)mim][BF4] [C(4)mim][PF6], [C(4)mim][NO3], [C(6)mim]Cl and [C(6)mim][FAP] (where [C(n)mim](+) = 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium, [N-6,N-2,N-2,N-2](+) = n-hexyltriethylammonium, [P-14,P-6,P-6,P-6](+) = tris(n-hexyltetradecyl) phosphonium, [NTf2](-) = bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)amide, [OTf] = trifluoromethlysulfonate and [FAP](-) = tris(perfluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate). Activation of the Pt electrode was necessary to obtain reliable and reproducible voltammetry. After activation of the electrode, the H-2 oxidation waves were nearly electrochemically and chemically reversible in [C(n)mim][NTf2] ionic liquids, chemically irreversible in [C(6)mim]Cl and [C(4)mim][NO3], and showed intermediate characteristics in OTf-, [BF4](-), [PF6](-), [FAP](-) and other [NTf2](-)-based ionic liquids. These differences reflect the contrasting interactions of protons with the respective RTIL anions. The oxidation peaks are reported relative to the half-wave potential of the cobaltocenium/cobaltocene redox couple in all ionic liquids studied, giving an indication of the relative proton interactions of each ionic liquid. A preliminary temperature study (ca. 298-333 K) has also been carried out in some of the ionic liquids. Diffusion coefficients and solubilities of hydrogen at 298 K were obtained from potential-step chronoamperometry, and there was no relationship found between the diffusion coefficients and solvent viscosity. RTILs possessing [NTf2](-) and [FAP](-) anions showed the highest micro-electrode peak currents for the oxidation in H-2 saturated solutions, with[C(4)mim][NTf2] toeing the most sensitive. The large number of available RTIL anion/cation pairs allows scope for the possible electrochemical detection of hydrogen gas for use in gas sensor technology. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Volume618 (1-2)
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry


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