Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 875–893 | Cite as

Electrochemical oxygen transfer reactions: electrode materials, surface processes, kinetic models, linear free energy correlations, and perspectives

  • Ronald Vargas
  • Carlos Borrás
  • Daniel Méndez
  • Jorge Mostany
  • Benjamín R. Scharifker


This work summarizes progresses achieved in electrochemical oxygen transfer reactions from water to organic pollutant molecules on metal oxide electrodes during the past two decades. Fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the electrochemical oxygen transfer reaction is of crucial importance for the development of key concepts of electrocatalytic processes, leading to the implementation of environmental electrochemistry wastewater treatment schemes with rational design of the suitable electrocatalytic systems. We discuss the current knowledge on the electrochemical oxygen transfer reaction, emphasizing the importance of surface processes in order to generalize mechanistically the experimental results obtained on different electrode materials, describing also the practical kinetic models developed and their implications. From the information gathered in this review, it is apparent that explanations for the kinetics of the reactions in relation to the structure of the organic compounds involved is lacking, hence that new information about structure-reactivity relationships is needed. We show in particular that the open circuit decay of the concentration of radical cations, obtained from spectroelectrochemical data, allows correlating the structure of adsorbed states with reactivity during oxygen transfer reactions, pointing as well to research efforts required to understand the catalytic performance of metal oxide electrodes in decomposing organic compounds strongly adsorbed on their surfaces. Finally, some perspectives for future research in this area are briefly commented.


Electrocatalysis Oxygen transfer Metal oxide electrode Surface reaction Kinetic modeling Linear free energy relationships 



We are grateful to the members of the Electrochemistry Group at Universidad Simón Bolívar for many stimulating discussions about the subject of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Vargas
    • 1
  • Carlos Borrás
    • 1
  • Daniel Méndez
    • 1
  • Jorge Mostany
    • 1
  • Benjamín R. Scharifker
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidad Simón BolívarCaracasVenezuela
  2. 2.Universidad MetropolitanaCaracasVenezuela

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