Prototype of Nanoelectrofuel Flow Batteries: Engineering Challenges and Prospectives

Wednesday, 27 May 2015: 14:40
Continental Room A (Hilton Chicago)
J. P. Katsoudas (Illinois Institute of Technology), E. V. Timofeeva (Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory), D. Singh (Energy System Division, Argonne National Laboratory), V. K. Ramani, and C. U. Segre (Illinois Institute of Technology)
New approaches to battery chemistries, cell designs, and manufacturing offer fertile ground for scientific exploration across many disciplines, and promises to revolutionize the practice of energy storage. We present a novel rechargeable nanoelectrofuel (NEF) flow battery technology which incorporates high energy density cathode and anode nanomaterials at high material loadings in a flowable and pumpable format that can be used in combination with uniquely designed flow batteries.  The NEF approach is a chemistry agnostic change in energy storage format that leverages the properties of conventional solid state batteries, flow batteries and nanofluid technology.

A unique flow battery cell design has been developed to accommodate the effective charge and discharge of nanoparticles in suspension. The combination of nanoelectrofuels and unique flow battery cells increase the system level energy density of flow batteries to and above that of solid-state lithium-ion batteries creating an attractive energy storage medium for any industry or application that relies on stable energy storage for its operations. More than 50% improvement in energy density of solid batteries with the same chemistry are possible because of a lower fraction of inactive packaging material that is used in a NEF flow battery.

We are building 40V NEF flow battery prototype, which is scalable for electric vehicle needs. This presentation will focus on engineering challenges in the development of NEF electrochemical flow reactor and the approaches that we are using to solve them. Results of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and electrochemical modelling will be presented and compared to empirical estimations.  The utilization of these results in the context of an end product development will be discussed.

The stability and low cost of this cutting-edge innovation make it a good choice for numerous interchangeable industrial design applications, particularly the following:

  • Transportation (rechargeable liquid form of batteries for electrical and hybrid electrical vehicles, fast refueling, zero emissions)
  • Stationary power storage (battery systems for large-scale load-leveling and local house back-up systems), including

-       Renewables (efficient storage and distribution of energy from intermittent wind and solar plants)

-       Military devices (concentrated energy, fast response, easy maintenance)

This presentation will also discuss technology transfer and commercialization challenges, potential development routes for NEF flow battery, including manufacturing and product development in the context of the present players, market size, and the long term vision for the technology.