Abstract: Applications of redox processes range over a number of scientific fields. This review article summarizes the theory behind the calculation of redox potentials in solution for species such as organic compounds, inorganic complexes, actinides, battery materials, and mineral surface-bound-species. Different computational approaches to predict and determine redox potentials of electron transitions are discussed along with their respective pros and cons for the prediction of redox potentials. Subsequently, recommendations are made for certain necessary computational settings required for accurate calculation of redox potentials. This article reviews the importance of computational parameters, such as basis sets, density functional theory (DFT) functionals, and relativistic approaches and the role that physicochemical processes play on the shift of redox potentials, such as hydration or spin orbit coupling, and will aid in finding suitable combinations of approaches for different chemical and geochemical applications. Identifying cost-effective and credible computational approaches is essential to benchmark redox potential calculations against experiments. Once a good theoretical approach is found to model the chemistry and thermodynamics of the redox and electron transfer process, this knowledge can be incorporated into models of more complex reaction mechanisms that include diffusion in the solute, surface diffusion, and dehydration, to name a few. This knowledge is important to fully understand the nature of redox processes be it a geochemical process that dictates natural redox reactions or one that is being used for the optimization of a chemical process in industry. In addition, it will help identify materials that will be useful to design catalytic redox agents, to come up with materials to be used for batteries and photovoltaic processes, and to identify new and improved remediation strategies in environmental engineering, for example the reduction of actinides and their subsequent immobilization. Highly under-investigated is the role of redox-active semiconducting mineral surfaces as catalysts for promoting natural redox processes. Such knowledge is crucial to derive process-oriented mechanisms, kinetics, and rate laws for inorganic and organic redox processes in nature. In addition, molecular-level details still need to be explored and understood to plan for safer disposal of hazardous materials. In light of this, we include new research on the effect of iron-sulfide mineral surfaces, such as pyrite and mackinawite, on the redox chemistry of actinyl aqua complexes in aqueous solution.
Keywords: redox potential calculations; density functional theory (DFT) methods; semiconducting minerals; actinides; continuum solvation; mineralogy
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Arumugam, K.; Becker, U. Computational Redox Potential Predictions: Applications to Inorganic and Organic Aqueous Complexes, and Complexes Adsorbed to Mineral Surfaces. Minerals 2014, 4, 345-387.
Arumugam K, Becker U. Computational Redox Potential Predictions: Applications to Inorganic and Organic Aqueous Complexes, and Complexes Adsorbed to Mineral Surfaces. Minerals. 2014; 4(2):345-387.
Arumugam, Krishnamoorthy; Becker, Udo. 2014. "Computational Redox Potential Predictions: Applications to Inorganic and Organic Aqueous Complexes, and Complexes Adsorbed to Mineral Surfaces." Minerals 4, no. 2: 345-387.