In this talk, Marta Costa Figueiredo will focus on how electrochemistry and electrocatalysis can help on the knowledge generation, reaction improvement and development of alternative industrial processes, but also on the challenges to be faced before electrochemical technologies are a reality in industrial environments.
Many industrial chemical processes involve a high-energy demand (often still derived from fossil fuels), toxic reactants, and the production of high amounts of waste. Therefore, the development of more efficient, less hazardous technologies, based on renewable energies, has become one of the most challenging topics for chemical synthesis. For achieving these goals, the combination of catalysis with electrochemical methods, that is, electrocatalysis, can play a very important role . With electrochemical methods, toxic and dangerous chemicals can be replaced with clean electrons, the efficiency and selectivity of the reactions can be tuned by choosing the applied potential, and more importantly, the energy used can come from renewable sources like wind or solar.
 Frontana-Uribe, B. A. et al; Green Chem. 2010, 12 (12) 2099– 2119.