Disclosed are systems for the electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen, having redox mediator/redox catalyst pairs and an electrolyte solution in contact with an electrode. The redox mediator is included in the electrolyte solution, and the redox catalyst may be included in the electrolyte solution, or alternatively, may be in contact with the electrolyte solution. In one form a cobalt redox catalyst is used with a quinone redox mediator. In another form a nitrogen oxide redox catalyst is used with a nitroxyl type redox mediator. The systems can be used in electrochemical cells wherein neither the anode nor the cathode comprise an expensive metal such as platinum.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with government support under DE-AC05-76RL01830 awarded by the US Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.