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A Self-Trapping, Bipolar Viologen Bromide Electrolyte for Redox Flow Batteries

  • Wenda Wu
    Wenda Wu
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322, United States
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  • Jian Luo
    Jian Luo
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322, United States
    More by Jian Luo
  • Fang Wang
    Fang Wang
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322, United States
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  • Bing Yuan
    Bing Yuan
    State Key Laboratory Base of Eco-chemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266042, China
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  • , and 
  • T. Leo Liu*
    T. Leo Liu
    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322, United States
    *[email protected], [email protected]
    More by T. Leo Liu
Cite this: ACS Energy Lett. 2021, 6, 8, 2891–2897
Publication Date (Web):July 26, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsenergylett.1c01146
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Aqueous organic redox flow batteries (AORFBs) have become increasingly attractive for scalable energy storage. However, it remains challenging to develop high-voltage, powerful AORFBs because of the lack of a high redox potential catholyte. Herein, we report methyl viologen dibromide ([MV]Br2) as a facile self-trapping, bipolar redox electrolyte material for pH-neutral redox flow battery applications, representing the first report of methyl viologen as a highly efficient bromine complexing reagent. The formation of the [MV](Br3)2 complex was computationally predicted and experimentally confirmed. The low-solubility [MV](Br3)2 complex in the catholyte during the battery charge process not only mitigates the crossover of charged tribromide species (Br3) but also addresses the toxicity concern of volatile bromine simultaneously. A 1.53 V bipolar MV/Br AORFB (10.2 Wh/L) delivered stable battery performance at pH-neutral conditions, specifically, 100% total capacity retention, 133 mW/cm2 power density, and 56% energy efficiency at 60 mA/cm2.

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