Redox Flow Batteries: Navigating an Emerging Design Space

  • Date: Jul 3, 2024
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Prof. Fikile Brushett
  • MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
  • Location: Building M, Richard-Willstätter-Haus, Faradayweg 10, 14195 Berlin
  • Room: Seminar Room
  • Host: Interface Science Department
  • Contact:
 Redox Flow Batteries: Navigating an Emerging Design Space


Electrochemical energy storage has emerged as a critical technology to enable sustainable electricity generation by alleviating intermittency from renewable sources, reducing transmission congestion, enhancing grid resiliency, and decoupling generation from demand. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are rechargeable electrochemical devices that store energy via the reduction and oxidation of soluble active species, which are housed in external tanks and pumped to a power-generating reactor. As compared to enclosed batteries (e.g., lithium-ion), RFBs offer an attractive alternative due to separate power and energy scaling, long service life, and simplified manufacturing, but have not yet achieved ubiquitous adoption because of high system prices.

Recent research has focused on the discovery and development of new chemistries and device components with an overarching goal of improving battery performance and reducing cost. While many of these emerging concepts are exciting, at present new materials are typically considered in isolation rather than as part of a battery system. Understanding the critical relationships between material properties and overall battery price is key to enabling systematic improvements in RFBs. In this presentation, I will discuss general design principles for economically-viable RFBs realized through a combination of techno-economic modeling, reactor optimization, and materials analysis. This approach emphasizes the fundamental differences in cost reduction strategies for distinct RFBs, specifies design criteria for future materials, and highlights new research avenues for the energy storage community.


Fikile Brushett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining the Institute, he received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and performed postdoctoral work in the electrochemical energy storage group at Argonne National Laboratory. His research group seeks to advance the science and engineering of electrochemical technologies that enable a sustainable energy economy. He is especially interested in the fundamental processes that define the performance, cost, and lifetime of present day and future electrochemical systems. His group currently works on rechargeable batteries for grid energy storage and electrochemical processes for resource management. He also served as the Research Integration co-Lead for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a DOE-funded Energy Innovation Hub.

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