A Low-Cost, High-Performance Polysulfide/Ferrocyanide Redox Flow Battery Using Highly Active Metal Pyrites Catalysts

Sunday, 1 October 2017: 16:40
Maryland D (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
W. Li (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Y. Dong (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wuhan University of Technology), and S. Jin (Department of Chemistry, UW-Madison)
Polysulfide is a promising redox couple employed in various aqueous redox flow batteries (RFB) for large scale electrochemical energy storage due to its high solubility and low cost. However, polysulfide has much lower rate constant in comparison with other commonly used redox couples in RFB. Therefore, efficient electrocatalysis is a key to achieving high performance for polysulfide-based RFB. Here we first systematically investigated the electrocatalytic activity of various pyrite phase metal disulfides (FeS2, CoS2, NiS2) as thin film electrodes towards polysulfide redox reactions under steady state condition. Then we further demonstrated a high-performance polysulfide/ferrocyanide RFB using optimized high surface area NiS2 nanostructures grown on carbon paper as the electrode. The NiS2/carbon paper electrode was able to achieve a high current density of 38.6 mA cm-2 at an over potential of 100 mV. An aqueous polysulfide/ferrocyanide RFB employing NiS2/carbon paper as anode and plain carbon paper as cathode was further evaluated by constant current cycling test and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to demonstrate high charging-discharging cycling performance and low charge transfer impedance.