Dissection of the Voltage Losses of an Acidic Quinone Redox Flow Battery

Tuesday, 30 May 2017: 09:20
Grand Salon B - Section 12 (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
M. J. Aziz, Q. Chen, and M. R. Gerhardt (Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
We measure the polarization characteristics of a quinone-bromide redox flow battery with interdigitated flow fields, using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and voltammetry of a full cell and of a half cell against a reference electrode. We find linear polarization behavior at 50% state of charge all the way to the short-circuit current density of 2.5 A/cm2. We uniquely identify the polarization area-specific resistance (ASR) of each electrode, the membrane ASR to ionic current, and the electronic contact ASR. We use voltage probes to deduce the electronic current density through each sheet of carbon paper in the quinone-bearing electrode. By interpreting the results using the Newman 1-D porous electrode model, we deduce the volumetric exchange current density of the porous electrode. We uniquely evaluate the power dissipation and identify a correspondence to the contributions to the electrode ASR from the Faradaic, electronic, and ionic transport processes. We find that, within the electrode, more power is dissipated in the Faradaic process than in the electronic and ionic conduction processes combined, despite the observed linear polarization behavior. We examine the sensitivity of the ASR to the values of the model parameters. The greatest performance improvement is anticipated from increasing the volumetric exchange current density.