Decomposition of ionic liquids in electrochemical processing

Maaike C. Kroon, Wim Buijs, Cor J. Peters, Geert Jan Witkamp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


The stability of ionic liquids with respect to high voltage differences is important for their use in electrochemical applications. Ionic liquids decompose when voltage differences larger than their electrochemical window (4–6 V) are applied. However, little is known about the decomposition mechanism and products. In this work the electrochemical breakdown of the ionic liquids 1,1-butylmethylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate on the cathode is predicted using quantum chemical calculations and validated by experiments. The quantum chemical calculations showed to be an excellent method to predict the electrochemical decomposition reactions and products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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