Fabrication of high surface area ribbon electrodes for use in redox flow batteries via coaxial electrospinning

This study describes the synthesis and characterization of porous electrodes comprise of flat-ribbon electrospun fibers. The new material demonstrates increase permeability and volumetric surface area as compared to a commercial carbon paper. This enabled reduced polarization losses at low-to-moderate current density (activation region) due to the higher surface area but suffered early onset of mass transfer limitations at higher current density.

Scientific Achievement

This work describes a simple and reliable method to electrospinning fibers with a flat ribbon-like morphology with increased surface area to volume ratio. The new materials outperformed commercial materials at low-to-moderate current density in an operating flow cell.

Significance and Impact

The development of new porous materials with property profiles that deviate from underperforming commercial materials is an important step to advancing new RFB systems. The synthesis approach describe in this work may offer a platform for chemistry-specific electrode design.

Research Details

  • The electrospun materials were synthesized using a shell-hollowing technique to produce a flat ribbon architecture.
  • These electrodes exhibit both high permeability and porosity throughout compression.
  • When compared to a commercial carbon paper, the electrospun materials provide higher power density at low overpotentials, largely due to volumetric surface area.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.est.2020.102079

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