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Issue 9, 2014
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A multiple ion-exchange membrane design for redox flow batteries

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Abstract

Here we present a multiple ion-exchange membrane (IEM) cell design for redox flow batteries (RFBs) that can generally accommodate redox pair combinations with any mixed ion charges. This design also allows flexible choice of electrolytes such as an acid electrolyte at one electrode while a base in the other. More specifically, the double-IEM cell with one anion-exchange membrane (AEM), one cation-exchange membrane (CEM), and a middle electrolyte in between can work with all redox pairs except for the case of two hybrid redox pairs (i.e., an anion–cation pair vs. an anion–cation pair). For the combination of two hybrid pairs, a triple-IEM cell with three membranes (CEM/AEM/CEM or AEM/CEM/AEM) and two middle electrolytes is needed. The double- and triple-IEM cells bring unprecedented freedom in choosing redox pairs and supporting electrolytes. Of particular importance, two featured aqueous RFBs are demonstrated here: (1) ultra-high voltage zinc–cerium RFB with 3.08 V standard cell voltage, the highest among all known aqueous RFBs; and (2) ultra-low cost sulfur–iron RFB with 1.22 V standard cell voltage, with two highly available elements (iron and sulfur are the 1st and 5th most produced elements worldwide, respectively).

Graphical abstract: A multiple ion-exchange membrane design for redox flow batteries

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jan 2014, accepted on 04 Feb 2014 and first published on 05 Feb 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE00165F
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2014,7, 2986-2998
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    A multiple ion-exchange membrane design for redox flow batteries

    S. Gu, K. Gong, E. Z. Yan and Y. Yan, Energy Environ. Sci., 2014, 7, 2986
    DOI: 10.1039/C4EE00165F

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