Newly Developed Flow Battery Stores Energy In Simple Organic Compound

May, 2022 - By SMI

Newly Developed Flow Battery Stores Energy In Simple Organic Compound

Researchers designed a new flow battery electrolyte that uses organic molecule instead of vanadium to store energy and takes on a symmetrical form 

The battery technology used for storing renewable energy is far different than current battery technology used in phone or electric vehicles. A promising technology for storing renewable energy is flow batteries that store energy in form of fluids in the tank that can be made bigger to cater increasing energy demand. Now, a team of scientists at University of Groningen, Netherlands designed a different flow battery that uses an organic molecule instead of vanadium and also forms a symmetrical shape.

Using renewable energy for grid-scale applications requires large capacity storage solutions, as the energy received from renewable sources can be irregular. Flow batteries can tackle this issue as they store liquid electrolytes in tanks for long time without converting energy into electricity even after the fluid flows through two tanks. In the new flow battery, the scientists used organic molecule instead of vanadium and they created inroads having symmetrical designs using hybrid molecules. These molecules can be used for both fluids in two tanks that are used in flow batteries for holding fluids with different compositions. However, these inroads compromised performance of the battery instantly. Thus, the team looked for a molecule to solve this problem of stability and eliminate the requirement of a hybrid approach and used a bipolar organic compound having core stability, Blatter radical.

Furthermore, the team tested the compound by using it in a small electrochemical cell and it proved its efficiency in 275 cycles of charge and discharge. As per the team, this Blatter radical is simple to create and to increase the production of energy for industrial use. However, the team needs to develop a water-soluble version of this molecule to use it in tanks of flow battery and conduct tests on larger scale.

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