allow for molecules to pass through to balance charge. As a result, the two sides of the batteries can mix, and eventually cause the battery to fail.”
In experiments the battery maintained its high performance even after researchers drained it and recharged it 100 times, they said. Researchers published a paper on their work in a recent issue of the journal, ChemSusChem.
Cook said his team will continue to explore the use of molecules that have “promising electrochemistry for energy storage,” including molecules that can give up or accept more than one electron, and molecules that have structural properties that provide a high degree of stability once charged. Researchers also will continue their work to find ways to make other components of flow batteries, such as the separator membrane, perform better, he added.
“The key parameters of an effective flow battery are the amount of energy that can be stored, how fast you can get this energy out (commonly associated with the “power” of the battery), how compact the device can be, and how many times you can charge/discharge the battery,” Cook said. “We have ways of understanding all of these processes on the molecular level, and so by carrying out our experiments, we can get clues about how to rationally design the next generation of molecules to make better and better batteries.”
Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer who has written about technology and culture for more than 15 years. She has lived and worked as a professional journalist in Phoenix, San Francisco, and New York City. In her free time she enjoys surfing, traveling, music, yoga, and cooking. She currently resides in a village on the southwest coast of Portugal.