Exploring Bio-inspired Quinone-Based Organic Redox Flow Batteries: A Combined Experimental and Computational Study
Ding, Y (Ding, Yu)[ 1 ] ; Li, YF (Li, Yafei)[ 2 ]*（李亚飞）; Yu, GH (Yu, Guihua)[ 1 ]*
[ 1 ] Univ Texas Austin, Dept Mech Engn, Mat Sci & Engn Program, Austin, TX 78712 USA
[ 2 ] Nanjing Normal Univ, Coll Chem & Mat Sci, Jiangsu Key Lab Biofunct Mat, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
CHEM, Nov.2016, 1(5) 790-801
Modern society requires sustainable energy-storage systems to complement the fast-growing implementation of renewable sources. However, conventional batteries are based on the redox reactions of metals, which are constrained by material abundance, cost, and environmental concerns. As an alternative, quinone-based organic redox species represent one of the most promising electrode materials as a result of features including material sustainability, tailorable properties, and environmental benignity. Here, we report a systematic study on the electrochemical characteristics of quinones for organic flow batteries with a combined experimental and computational method. The redox properties of quinones were found to be strongly dependent on the molecular aromaticity and their electronic structures. In the prototype cell test, a naphthoquinone-based battery delivered a volumetric capacity of 20 Ah L-1 and reached an energy density of 60 Wh L-1. Because quinones play a key role in bio-electrochemical processes, a fundamental understanding of their reaction mechanisms in electrochemical energy-storage devices can pave the path toward bio-inspired sustainable energy technologies.