What are some nonreactive electrolyte solutions?

  1. I have an alcohol that I need to hydrogenate/reduce and I would like to do it electrochemically. The catholyte solutions I am used to using are basic sulfuric acid, but that would not work in this case as it would cause a violent reaction with the alcohol. The alcohol could be reduced with an acid but I would prefer to do it electrochemically as it is much cleaner. I need some sort of electrolyte, either soluble in alcohol or water, that can act as a conductor in this cell, but not react with the alcohol that I am reducing. Following the reduction is the usual workout with an acid-base extraction so there's no worry about difficulty in removing the elctrolyte.

    Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Sodium sulfate? Basically any inert salt that won't easily get oxidized nor reduced.
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