Sustainable All-Organic Redox-Flow Batteries for Stationary Application based on Aqueous Electrolytes

Call Reference: 
Short description of project idea : 
The goal of the projects is to develop an all-organic redox flow battery based on aqueous electrolytes with reduced costs per kWh and cycle and high safety for storage of sustainable energy. Redox-flow batteries are till now one of the most promising storage technologies for renewable energies due their unique feature of an independent scalability of power and capacity as well as their long lifetime, fast response and capability of storing electric energy for several hours. However, the breakthrough of the state-of-the art Vanadium-RFB is hampered by relatively high costs in combination with low energy densities. Additionally, the price of vanadium is strongly dependent on the high-performance steel production. To circumvent these issues metal-free active materials based on organic compounds should be investigated. However, in order to reach the goal of the cost reduction the whole system (active materials, membranes, stack design, battery management system) has to be optimized.
Main areas of expertise: 
Polymer Chemistry Organic Chemistry Energy (Redox-Flow- and thin-film batteries)
Main objectives of the project and how will they be achieved: 
Main objectives (and how will they be achieved)
Reduction of the price: - Development of new materials (organic active materials, membranes) - Optimization of stack design - Optimization of battery management system High safety: - Use of nontoxic active materials - Use of aqueous electrolytes Sustainability: - Use of metal-free organic raw materials - Use of aqueous electrolytes Avoidance of market dependence: - Use of organic raw materials - Profit from strong chemical industry in Europe Work packages: WP 1: Development of new materials WP 2: Optimization of stack design WP 3: Optimization of battery management system WP 4: Modeling (active materials, electrochemical processes, kinetics, sources of possible losses) WP 5: Membranes for organic RFBs
Profile of partners sought and expected role: 
Prof. Jean-François Gohy, Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium
- Prof. Jean-François Gohy is full professor, head of the school of Chemistry at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), which is the 3rd Belgian university after KU Leuven and UGent. The Bio and Soft Matter (BSMA) division of the Research Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences (IMCN) of UCL is active in the field of soft matter taken in its broader meaning. - Role: development of new active materials
POLYMAT, San Sebastian, Spain
- POLYMAT is a research institute in San Sebastian (Spain) that provides support to industries by means of an interdisciplinary research program. Technical expertise, continuous research and well-equipped labs make POLYMAT the ideal partner. - Role: development of new materials
JenaBatteries GmbH (SME), Jena, Germany
- JenaBatteries GmbH is a dynamic start-up company in Jena (Germany) developing sustainable, safe and scalable redox-flow-battery systems in the kW to MW-range that are an affordable alternative to conventional stationary batteries. With the innovative technological approach of replacing corrosive and expensive metal salt solutions in a redox-flow battery by soluble organics and polymers JenaBatteries is able to reduce the cost of such a battery substantially. Thereby, the company targets a major bottleneck in the renewable electricity generation industry. - Role: testing of new materials in small prototypes, stack design
Green Energy Storage (SME), Trento, Italy
- Green Energy Storage (GES) is a new company founded in March 2015 in Trento (Italy) with the objective to develop a new commercial energy storage system based on sustainable organic-based flow battery technology. - Role: testing of new materials in small prototypes, stack design
Other partners
- Partners for the design and synthesis of organic/polymer based active materials - Partners for the upscaling of synthesis procedures - Partners for the fabrication of membranes - Partners for the design of cell stacks for RFBs - Partners for the development of BMS - Partners for the modeling
Previous, relevant EU project experience: 
LOTUS Low-cost highly conductive high resolution structures for flexible large area electronics by high throughput low temperature processing
First Name: 
Ulrich S.
Last Name: 
Name of the organisation: 
Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Center for Energy and Environmental Chemistry Jena (CEEC Jena), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
Short description of organisation: 
The Center for Energy and Environmental Chemistry Jena (CEEC Jena) was founded in 2014. This center combines the research of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems Hermsdorf (IKTS) in the field of energy and envi-ronmental research. In total 18 groups investigate in this interfaculty institute new materials and technologies for energy storage. In this context, polymeric (“plastic”) materials offer great possibilities for the fabrication of energy storage devices – from the small scale (e.g., printable batteries) up to the large scale (e.g., polymer-redox flow batteries – pRFBs and organic redox flow batteries - oRFB). The utilization of the organic material circumvents the usage of toxic/harmful and often critical raw materials (e.g., cobalt, vanadium, lead).

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