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Development of a zinc-cerium redox flow battery

Leung, P.K. (2011) Development of a zinc-cerium redox flow battery University of Southampton, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, Doctoral Thesis , 352pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Redox flow batteries (RFBs) can be used to store energy on the large and medium scale
(kW – MW), particularly in applications such as load levelling of electrical power
supplies, power quality control application and facilitating renewable energy deployment.
In this thesis, the development of a divided and undivided zinc-cerium redox flow battery
from its fundamental chemistry in aqueous methanesulfonic acid has been described. This
comprehensive investigation has focused on the selection of electrode materials,
evaluation of zinc corrosion of the negative electrode, characterization of the redox flow
battery and the cycling performance. Voltammetric studies of both the zinc and the cerium
half-cell reactions have been carried out under various operating conditions and for
electrolyte compositions. These studies suggested that the positive electrode reaction
could limit the use of higher current densities. After testing a range of two- and
three-dimensional positive electrode materials, only three-dimensional platinised titanium
mesh and carbon felts were capable of discharge at 50 mA cm-2 with high charge ( > 70 %)and voltage ( > 60 %) efficiencies in an divided system based on the optimum electrolyte
compositions obtained in the half-cell studies. In order to avoid the diffusion of protons
across the membrane and to simplify the construction, an undivided, membraneless
system was proposed. With specific design arrangement and carbon felt positive electrode,
this system can operate at room temperature with a high energy efficiency (~ 75 %)
instead of 60 oC as reported in the patented system in the literature. In order to facilitate
zinc electrodeposition and prevent zinc corrosion, several electrolytic additives and
corrosion inhibitors have been suggested. Further challenges and research directions are
also discussed.

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Published date: 1 July 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton, Engineering Science Unit


Local EPrints ID: 333334
PURE UUID: 2cdfb2cd-40c0-4e4a-8b39-6a50ff7ecd2b

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Date deposited: 28 Jun 2012 12:27
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:13

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Author: P.K. Leung
Thesis advisor: Richard Wills
Thesis advisor: Frank Walsh

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