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Renewable hydrogen generation from a dual-circuit redox flow battery

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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  • Veronique Amstutz
  • Kathryn E. Toghill
  • Francis Powlesland
  • Heron Vrubel
  • Christos Comninellis
  • Xile Hu
  • Hubert H. Girault
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Energy and Environmental Science
Issue number7
Volume7
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)2350-2358
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are particularly well suited for storing the intermittent excess supply of renewable electricity, so-called "junk" electricity. Conventional RFBs are charged and discharged electrochemically, with electricity stored as chemical energy in the electrolytes. In the RFB system reported here, the electrolytes are conventionally charged but are then chemically discharged over catalytic beds in separate external circuits. The catalytic reaction of particular interest generates hydrogen gas as secondary energy storage. For demonstration, indirect water electrolysis was performed generating hydrogen and oxygen in separate catalytic reactions. The electrolyte containing V(II) was chemically discharged through proton reduction to hydrogen on a molybdenum carbide catalyst, whereas the electrolyte comprising Ce(IV) was similarly discharged in the oxidation of water to oxygen on a ruthenium dioxide catalyst. This approach is designed to complement electrochemical energy storage and may circumvent the low energy density of RFBs especially as hydrogen can be produced continuously whilst the RFB is charging.