Macromolecular Design Strategies for Preventing Active-Material Crossover in Non-Aqueous All-Organic Redox-Flow Batteries

Sean E. Doris, Ashleigh L. Ward, Artem Baskin, Peter D. Frischmann, Nagarjuna Gavvalapalli, Etienne Chénard, Christo S. Sevov, David Prendergast, Jeffrey S. Moore, Brett A. Helms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Intermittent energy sources, including solar and wind, require scalable, low-cost, multi-hour energy storage solutions in order to be effectively incorporated into the grid. All-Organic non-aqueous redox-flow batteries offer a solution, but suffer from rapid capacity fade and low Coulombic efficiency due to the high permeability of redox-active species across the battery's membrane. Here we show that active-species crossover is arrested by scaling the membrane's pore size to molecular dimensions and in turn increasing the size of the active material above the membrane's pore-size exclusion limit. When oligomeric redox-active organics (RAOs) were paired with microporous polymer membranes, the rate of active-material crossover was reduced more than 9000-fold compared to traditional separators at minimal cost to ionic conductivity. This corresponds to an absolute rate of RAO crossover of less than 3 μmol cm−2day−1(for a 1.0 m concentration gradient), which exceeds performance targets recently set forth by the battery industry. This strategy was generalizable to both high and low-potential RAOs in a variety of non-aqueous electrolytes, highlighting the versatility of macromolecular design in implementing next-generation redox-flow batteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1595-1599
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • energy storage
  • macromolecular chemistry
  • membranes
  • polymers
  • redox-flow batteries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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    Doris, S. E., Ward, A. L., Baskin, A., Frischmann, P. D., Gavvalapalli, N., Chénard, E., Sevov, C. S., Prendergast, D., Moore, J. S., & Helms, B. A. (2017). Macromolecular Design Strategies for Preventing Active-Material Crossover in Non-Aqueous All-Organic Redox-Flow Batteries. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 56(6), 1595-1599. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201610582