Electrocatalysts participate in electrochemical reactions by facilitating the electron transfer between reactants and electrode, that is, direct use of electrons (DUE) to enable a chemical transformation. In this brief review, recent findings in electrocatalyst development for processing chemicals ranging from complex feedstocks (e.g. solid fuels, biomass) to ammonia, are discussed. The concept of electrons to fuels and chemicals presents an opportunity for a modern interpretation of process intensification. It is envisioned that hybrid thermo-chemical/electrochemical reactors would enable a transformational change in the chemical industry, enabling the manufacturing of chemicals and fuels at/or near the point of use while capitalizing on the renewable energy infrastructure. In a broader perspective, the DUE for chemical transformations is foreseen as an energy storage platform.