Aqueous Organic Redox Flow Batteries

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batteries Article Understanding Aqueous Organic Redox Flow Batteries: A Guided Experimental Tour from Components Characterization to Final Assembly Juan Asenjo-Pascual 1,* , Ivan Salmeron-Sanchez 1 , Juan Ramón Avilés-Moreno 1, Pablo Mauleón 1,2, Petr Mazur 3,4 and Pilar Ocón 1 1 2 3 4 * Correspondence: juan.asenjo@uam.es Abstract: The implementation of renewable energies into the electrical grid is one of our best options to mitigate the climate change. Redox flow batteries (RFB) are one of the most promising candidates for energy storage due to their scalability, durability and low cost. Despite this, just few studies have explained the basic concepts of RFBs and even fewer have reviewed the experimental conditions that are crucial for their development. This work aspired to be a helpful guide for beginner researchers who want to work in this exciting field. This guided tour aimed to clearly explain all the components and parameters of RFBs. Using a well-studied chemistry of anthraquinone (AQDS)-based anolyte and Na4[Fe(CN)6] catholyte, different techniques for the characterization of RFBs were described. The effects of some experimental parameters on battery performance such as electrolyte pH, O2 presence, membrane pretreatment and the capacity limiting side, were demonstrated. Furthermore, this analysis served to introduce different electrochemical techniques, i.e., load curve measurements, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and charge–discharge cycling tests. This work aimed to be the nexus between the basic concepts and the first experimental steps in the RFB field merging theory and experimental data. Keywords: aqueous organic redox flow batteries; energy storage; redox-active molecule; anthraquinone disulfonate; hexacyanoferrate; load curves; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; galvanos- tatic cycling; efficiency; area-specific resistance; capacity decay; degradation; characterization; experimental tour 1. Introduction The constant increase in greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere is forcing the implementation of renewable energies into the electrical grid. However, the intrinsic intermittent nature of these energy sources (solar, wind, etc.) is delaying their implemen- tation. Efficient and sustainable energy storage systems are crucial within this approach, but the available technologies are not currently capable of fulfilling the actual and future demand at a viable cost and environmental impact, making this currently the biggest bottleneck. In this sense, electrochemical energy storage systems (EESS) are considered as the most practical system to deploy clean energy in a significant magnitude within the next decades [1]. Among the different devices studied, RFBs are attracting the attention of the industry due to their ability to store large amounts of energy and to decouple power and Departamento de Química Física Aplicada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), C/Francisco Tomás y Valiente 7, 28049 Madrid, Spain Departamento de Química Orgánica, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), C/Francisco Tomás y Valiente 7, 28049 Madrid, Spain Faculty of Chemical Engineering, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague 6, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic New Technologies—Research Centre, University of West Bohemia, Univerzitní 8, 30614Plzenˇ,CzechRepublic Citation: Asenjo-Pascual, J.; Salmeron-Sanchez, I.; Avilés-Moreno, J.R.; Mauleón, P.; Mazur, P.; Ocón, P. Understanding Aqueous Organic Redox Flow Batteries: A Guided Experimental Tour from Components Characterization to Final Assembly. Batteries 2022, 8, 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/ batteries8100193 Academic Editor: Catia Arbizzani Received: 12 September 2022 Accepted: 13 October 2022 Published: 19 October 2022 Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affil- iations. Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). Batteries 2022, 8, 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries8100193 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/batteries

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