An electrochemical study of frustrated Lewis pairs: A metal-free route to hydrogen oxidation

Elliot J. Lawrence, Vasily S. Oganesyan, David L. Hughes, Andrew E. Ashley, Gregory G. Wildgoose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Frustrated Lewis pairs have found many applications in the heterolytic activation of H2 and subsequent hydrogenation of small molecules through delivery of the resulting proton and hydride equivalents. Herein, we describe how H2 can be preactivated using classical frustrated Lewis pair chemistry and combined with in situ nonaqueous electrochemical oxidation of the resulting borohydride. Our approach allows hydrogen to be cleanly converted into two protons and two electrons in situ, and reduces the potential (the required energetic driving force) for nonaqueous H2 oxidation by 610 mV (117.7 kJ/mol). This significant energy reduction opens routes to the development of nonaqueous hydrogen energy technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6031-6036
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
Early online date2 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2014

Cite this