Efficient harvesting and storage of solar energy of an all-vanadium solar redox flow battery with a MoS2@TiO2 photoelectrode†
Solar redox flow batteries constitute an emerging technology that provides a smart alternative for the capture and storage of discontinuous solar energy through the photo-generation of the discharged redox species employed in traditional redox flow batteries. Here, we show that a MoS2-decorated TiO2 (MoS2@TiO2) photoelectrode can successfully harvest light to be stored in a solar redox flow battery using vanadium ions as redox active species in both the catholyte and anolyte, and without the use of any bias. The MoS2@TiO2 photoelectrode achieved an average photocurrent density of ∼0.4 mA cm−2versus 0.08 mA cm−2 for bare TiO2, when tested for the oxidation of V4+ to V5+, attributed to a more efficient light harvesting and charge separation for the MoS2@TiO2 relative to TiO2. The designed solar redox flow cell exhibited an optimal overall solar-to-output energy conversion efficiency (SOEE) of ∼4.78%, which outperforms previously reported solar redox flow batteries. This work demonstrates the potential of the MoS2@TiO2 photoelectrode to efficiently convert solar energy into chemical energy in a solar redox flow battery, and it also validates the great potential of this technology to increase reliability in renewable energies.
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