Flowable conducting particle networks in redox-active electrolytes for grid energy storage

K. B. Hatzell, M. Boota, E. C. Kumbur, Y. Gogotsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This study reports a new hybrid approach toward achieving high volumetric energy and power densities in an electrochemical flow capacitor for grid energy storage. The electrochemical flow capacitor suffers from high self-discharge and low energy density because charge storage is limited to the available surface area (electric double layer charge storage). Here, we examine two carbon materials as conducting particles in a flow battery electrolyte containing the VO2+/VO2+ redox couple. Highly porous activated carbon spheres (CSs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are investigated as conducting particle networks that facilitate both faradaic and electric double layer charge storage. Charge storage contributions (electric double layer and faradaic) are distinguished for flow-electrodes composed of MWCNTs and activated CSs. AMWCNT flow-electrode based in a redox-active electrolyte containing the VO2+/VO2+ redox couple demonstrates 18% less self-discharge, 10 X more energy density, and 20 X greater power densities (at 20 mV s-1) than one based on a non-redox active electrolyte. Furthermore, aMWCNTredox-active flow electrode demonstrates 80% capacitance retention, and >95% coulombic efficiency over 100 cycles, indicating the feasibility of utilizing conducting networks with redox chemistries for grid energy storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A5007-A5012
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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