On Lifetime and Cost of Redox-Active Organics for Aqueous Flow Batteries

Capital cost modeling of generic RFBs incorporating the net present value of finite-life electrolytes. Capital cost decreases with longer discharge duration, higher power reactors, and inexpensive electrolytes. At long durations the system costs asymptotically approach the cost of the electrolyte in the reservoirs. The cost of vanadium RFBs for a range of recent historical vanadium prices is provided as a comparison.

Scientific Achievement

In this viewpoint, we recommend methodology for (1) testing aqueous organic flow batteries to better understand the fade mechanisms and failure modes, and for (2) techno-economic assessment of these batteries that incorporates the costs associated with electrolyte decay and replacement to articulate a feasible design space for the community to target.

Significance and Impact

Active species cost and decay rate are shown to be important, but presently uncertain parameters that will be significant in determining the economic viability of aqueous organic flow batteries.

Research Details

  • Potentiostatic cycling of symmetric cells with capacity limiting and non-limiting sides allows better differentiation between calendar- and cycle-dominated fade of the electrolyte without the convoluting effects of cell degradation.
  • Techno-economic analyses used a modified capital cost metric that incorporates the net present value of the annual electrolyte replacement costs to account for the long-term effects of electrolyte decay inherent to organic active species.

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DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.0c00140

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