Proton-regulated alcohol oxidation for high-capacity ketone-based flow battery anolyte

Ruozhu Feng, Ying Chen, Xin Zhang, Benjamin J.G. Rousseau, Peiyuan Gao, Ping Chen, Sebastian T. Mergelsberg, Lirong Zhong, Aaron Hollas, Yangang Liang, Vijayakumar Murugesan, Qian Huang, Eric Walter, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Yuyan Shao, Wei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Redox flow batteries have a unique architecture that potentially enables cost-effective long-duration energy storage to address the intermittency introduced by increased renewable integration for the decarbonization of the electric power sector. Targeted molecular engineering has demonstrated electrochemical reversibility in natively redox-inactive ketone molecules in aqueous electrolytes. However, the kinetics of fluorenone-based flow batteries continue to be limited by slow alcohol oxidation. We show how strategically designed proton regulators can accelerate alcohol oxidation and thus enhance battery kinetics. Fluorenone-based flow batteries with the organic additive β-cyclodextrin demonstrate enhanced rate capability, high capacity, and long cycling. This study opens a new avenue to improve the kinetics of aqueous organic flow batteries by modulating the reaction pathway with a homogeneous catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1622
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 19 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy


  • alcohol oxidation
  • comproportionation
  • fluorenone
  • H-bonding
  • H/D exchange
  • homogeneous catalysis
  • in situ Electron paramagnetic resonance
  • proton coupled electron transfer
  • redox flow battery


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