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Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.161, No.9, A1371-A1380, 2014
An Inexpensive Aqueous Flow Battery for Large-Scale Electrical Energy Storage Based on Water-Soluble Organic Redox Couples
We introduce a novel Organic Redox Flow Battery (ORBAT), for Meeting the demanding requirements of cost, eco-friendliness, and durability for large-scale energy storage. ORBAT employs two different water-soluble organic redox couples on the positive and negative side of a flow battery. Redox couples such as quinones are particularly attractive for this application. No precious metal catalyst is needed because of the fast proton-coupled electron transfer processes. Furthermore, in acid media, the quinones exhibit good chemical stability. These properties render quinone-based redox couples very attractive for high-efficiency metal-free rechargeable batteries. We demonstrate the rechargeability of ORBAT with anthraquinone-2-sulfonic acid or anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonic acid on the negative side, and 1,2-dihydrobenzoquinone- 3,5-disulfonic acid on the positive side. The ORBAT cell uses a membrane-electrode assembly configuration similar to that used in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Such a battery can be charged and discharged multiple times at high faradaic efficiency without any noticeable degradation of performance. We show that solubility and mass transport properties of the reactants and products are paramount to achieving high current densities and high efficiency. The ORBAT configuration presents a unique opportunity for developing an inexpensive and sustainable metal-free rechargeable battery for large-scale electrical energy storage. (C) The Author(s) 2014. Published by ECS. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY, http://creativecommons.orgilicenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse of the work in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. All rights reserved.