Research Line 5: Scalable flow batteries

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Flow batteries are one of the most promising electrochemical storage systems for long-term storage of renewable electricity in urban environments due to their high degree of scalability, flexibility and intrinsic safety. Storage is fast and reversible, but most importantly, in contrast to traditional storage systems, power and storage capacity are decoupled and can be tuned independently. Power is predominantly determined by the area of the ion exchange membrane and the electrode performance (in the case of redox reactions), while capacity is determined by the electrolyte volumes (catholyte and anolyte). RL5 investigates two specific, very promising, types of flow batteries, based on abundantly available materials:

  1. Hydrogen bromine flow batteries (HBFB) whose highly reactive materials are abundantly available at low cost and that have high powers, peak energy efficiency and energy utilisation
  2. Salt batteries, the first fully sustainable, non-toxic, aqueous flow battery system recently developed utilizing pH gradients for reversible storage of energy.

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