Potentiostats/galvanostats – indispensable in redox flow battery R&D
4/1/2016

Autolab instrument with NOVA software running on a tablet computer

Redox flow batteries store energy in the form of chemical compounds. These are present in solution in liquid electrolytes and can be stored outside the cell. In terms of structure and function, a redox flow battery corresponds to a secondary battery/fuel cell hybrid.

These redox flow batteries come in different types:

  • Vanadium-vanadium
  • Vanadium-bromine
  • Vanadium-air
  • Polysulfide-bromide
  • Zinc-bromine
  • Zinc-cerium

Goals of current research work in this field include increasing energy and power density while at the same time reducing costs through the use of innovative and less expensive functional materials.

Metrohm AutoLab potentiostats and galvanostats play a special role in achieving these goals as these instruments can be used to monitor electrochemical processes during charging and discharging and to investigate the electrochemical properties of the materials used in redox flow batteries:

  • Membrane conductivity via impedance spectroscopy
  • Electrode materials: Electrocatalytic activity via cyclic voltammetry
  • Flow field and electrode materials: Corrosion stability via linear polarization, impedance spectroscopy or Tafel analysis
  • Electrolyte solutions: Electrochemical window and temperature-dependent conductivity via cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy

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