Methods separates a gas comprising providing a first electrode in ion-conducting contact with an electrolyte, providing a second electrode in ion-conducting contact with the electrolyte, wherein the second electrode comprises a liquid metal, providing a displacing material comprising a first surface in contact with the second electrode and a second surface exposed to an environment outside the second electrode, wherein said material permits flow of gas and impedes flow of liquid metal, and establishing a potential between the first and second electrodes, whereby gas flows toward the liquid metal. Other aspects include methods and apparatuses comprising electrodes, electrolytes and displacing materials.
 This invention was made with government support under Grant No. 1026639 awarded by the National Science Foundation and Award No. DE-EE0005547 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.