Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Chemistry and Biochemistry
With the growing interest in energy in renewable sources from intermittent and fluctuating solar and wind, large-scale energy storage systems are urgently needed. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) have been recognized as one of the most promising battery technologies for energy storage devices that demonstrate potential scalability to meet this need. Shifting from traditional inorganic (e.g., vanadium) to earth-abundant and inexpensive organic redox-active materials can reduce overall battery cost. Compared to simple inorganic salts (e.g., V2O5), the solubility, stability, redox potential, and membrane compatibility of organic molecules are synthetically tunable via introducing functional groups. In the end, RFBs can be used to store the electricity generated from renewable sources and balance the mismatch between the energy supply and demand.
The research in this dissertation outlines efforts to improve battery performance and understand battery capacity decay mechanisms. An asymmetric molecular design concept for classic anode material, sulfonate viologens (S2Vs), in aqueous RFBs is reported. The improved solubility, redox potential, and battery performance lead to an adaptable method for other redox-active materials. Independent mechanism studies of battery capacity decay for a classic anode material, viologen/viologen radical, and cathode material, ferrocyanide/ferricyanide, provide a deeper understanding of full-cell stability for widely studied viologen/ferrocyanide combination. Moving from aqueous to non-aqueous RFBs (NARFB) is an effective way to extend the redox-active material database and full-cell cell voltage to further improve battery energy density.
Hu, Maowei, "Redox-Active Materials Design and Mechanism Study for Redox Flow Batteries" (2023). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 8906.
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