Scientists Demonstrate a Cheaper, More Accessible Redox Flow Batteries

Scientists at the University of Southern California have demonstrated a version of the redox flow type battery using low-cost and readily available materials, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.

The study said that the new redox flow battery based on iron sulfate and anthraquinone disulfonic acid (AQDS) showed excellent electrical performance, capacity retention, and chemical durability. This was the first time this particular combination was used to provide unique benefits for large-scale energy storage.

Redox flow batteries, or flow batteries, are a type of electrochemical energy storage devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. The term “redox” refers to the chemical reduction and oxidation reactions within the battery that help it store energy in liquid electrolyte solutions that flow through the battery.

The study noted that based on iron sulfate, a waste product of the steel industry and the material cost of the battery was expected to be around $66 (~₹4,953)/kWh. The study noted that studies involving over 500 charge cycles showed a negligible capacity fade rate of 7.6 × 10−5% per cycle.

According to the findings that the voltage of this system was relatively lower compared to mainstream vanadium flow batteries, but the new iron-AQDS flow battery system was a good balance of cost, durability, and scalability for large-scale sustainable energy storage.

Recently, researchers at Purdue University, in collaboration with researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Tufts University, announced a technique to turn polymers into components for batteries using microwave radiation.

Japanese researchers have developed a new electrode material that they claim would make lithium batteries cheaper, more stable, and capable of holding more charge for more extended periods. The team was led by Naoaki Yabuuchi, a professor at Yokohama National University. He explained that while researchers have previously managed to improve the charge-holding capacity of lithium batteries, they have not been able to improve the amount of charge the batteries can disperse in a useful way.

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