454502 Featured: Organic Aqueous Flow Batteries for Massive Electrical Energy Storage

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 3:15 PM
Union Square 21 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Michael J. Aziz, SEAS

The ability to store large amounts of electrical energy is of increasing importance with the growing fraction of electricity generation from intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar. Flow batteries show promise because the designer can independently scale the power (electrode area) and energy (arbitrarily large storage volume) components of the system by maintaining all electro-active species in fluids. Wide-scale utilization of flow batteries is limited by the abundance and cost of these materials. We have developed an approach to electricity storage using the aqueous redox chemistry of small, inexpensive organic molecules such as quinones [1,2]. The absence of active metal components in both redox chemistry and catalysis represents a significant shift away from the direction modern battery R&D has been taking. This new approach may enable massive electrical energy storage at greatly reduced cost.

[1] B. Huskinson, M.P. Marshak, C. Suh, S. Er, M.R. Gerhardt, C.J. Galvin, X. Chen, A. Aspuru-Guzik, R.G. Gordon and M.J. Aziz, “A metal-free organic-inorganic aqueous flow battery”, Nature 505, 195 (2014).

[2] K. Lin, Q. Chen, M.R. Gerhardt, L. Tong, S.B. Kim, L. Eisenach, A.W. Valle, D. Hardee, R.G. Gordon, M.J. Aziz and M.P. Marshak, "Alkaline Quinone Flow Battery", Science 349, 1529 (2015).

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