Michael Aziz1

1, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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. Wide-scale utilization of flow batteries is limited by the cost of redox-active metals such as vanadium or precious metal electrocatalysts. We have developed high performance flow batteries based on the aqueous redox behavior of small organic and organometallic molecules, e.g. [1-8]. These redox active materials can be very inexpensive and exhibit rapid redox kinetics and high solubilities, potentially enabling massive electrical energy storage at greatly reduced cost. We have developed new protocols for measuring capacity fade rates and have discovered that the capacity fade rate is determined by the molecular calendar life, which can depend on state of charge, but is independent of the number of charge-discharge cycles imposed [7]. We will report the performance of the very few chemistries with long enough calendar life for practical application in stationary storage.
[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),

[3] K. Lin, R. Gómez-Bombarelli, E.S. Beh, L. Tong, Q. Chen, A.W. Valle, A. Aspuru-Guzik, M.J. Aziz, and R.G. Gordon, "A redox flow battery with an alloxazine-based organic electrolyte", Nature Energy 1, 16102 (2016).

[4] E.S. Beh, D. De Porcellinis, R.L. Gracia, K.T. Xia, R.G. Gordon and M.J. Aziz, "A Neutral pH Aqueous Organic/Organometallic Redox Flow Battery with Extremely High Capacity Retention", ACS Energy Letters 2, 639 (2017).

[5] Z. Yang, L. Tong, D.P. Tabor, E.S. Beh, M.-A. Goulet, D. De Porcellinis, A. Aspuru-Guzik, R.G. Gordon, and M.J. Aziz, "Alkaline benzoquinone aqueous flow battery for large-scale storage of electrical energy” Advanced Energy Materials 2017, 1702056 (2017).

[6] D.G. Kwabi, K. Lin, Y. Ji, E.F. Kerr, M.-A. Goulet, D. DePorcellinis, D.P. Tabor, D.A. Pollack, A. Aspuru-Guzik, R.G. Gordon, and M.J. Aziz, “Alkaline Quinone Flow Battery with Long Lifetime at pH 12” Joule 2, 1907 (2018).

[7] M.-A. Goulet & M.J. Aziz, “Flow Battery Molecular Reactant Stability Determined by Symmetric Cell Cycling Methods”, J. Electrochem. Soc. 165, A1466 (2018).