Researchers at the University of California, Davis have identified earth abundant and other relatively inexpensive materials that form the basis of novel molecules (anolytes), with long lifecycles and high energy densities, to be used in redox flow batteries.
Energy storage via battery technology is a fundamental requirement to scale renewable electricity into wider use. Current battery technologies have multiple limitations – ranging from relatively low energy densities to safety concerns to their overall, full lifecycle, environmental impacts. Redox flow batteries (RFBs), which enjoy long lifetimes and comparably safe operating profiles, have some limitations of their own including cost of analyte materials, which need to be resolved before RFBs are deployed at scale across increasingly diverse applications.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed novel anolyte molecules for RFBs. Unlike all-organic or organometallic anolytes being explored for RFB battery technology, the use of “Group 13” metal anolytes in this technology provide improved chemical stability, high solubility, and greater likelihood that the RFBs that use these molecules will possess higher energy storage capacities under a wider range of temperature conditions.