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. Flow batteries show promise because the designer can independently scale the power (electrode area) and energy (arbitrarily large storage volume) components of the system by maintaining all electro-active species in fluids. Wide-scale utilization of flow batteries is limited by the abundance and cost of these materials, particularly those utilizing 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. [1-5]. These redox active materials can be very inexpensive and exhibit rapid redox kinetics and long lifetimes. This new approach could enable massive electrical energy storage at greatly reduced cost. I will discuss the latest developments from our laboratories.

[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).