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Low-cost and high-performance carbon electrodes for application in redox flow battery

Grant number: 21/14537-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2022
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Frank Nelson Crespilho
Grantee:Luana Cristina Italiano Faria
Supervisor: Michael J. Aziz
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Harvard University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:19/21089-6 - Carbon surfaces for organic battery application: structural properties of the hydrogel/electrolyte/electrode interface, BP.DD


Concerns about environmental problems caused by fossil fuels and the continuous energetic crisis have pushed up the interests for renewable energy sources, such as wind, tide, and sunlight. However, to meet the high energy demand of the society, the photovoltaic and wind electricity should be storage in batteries, because of the inherent intermittency of these renewable sources. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are the most promising system for sustainable large-scale energy storage, as they have flexible modular design and operation, moderate maintenance costs, excellent scalability, and long-life cycle. Carbon-based electrodes have been widely applied in aqueous organic RFBs. However, many of these materials do not show satisfactory chemical stability and mechanical robustness, and are impregnated with binders that decrease the hydrophilicity and electrochemically active surface area of the electrode. In this context, the main objective of this work is to scrutinize and to compare the properties and performance of different commercially available carbon electrodes in half-cell experiments and in aqueous organic RFBs. Additionally, carbon-based materials with edge-like defects and oxygenated functional groups will be engineered to reach low-cost electrodes and high energy and power densities without catalysts. The performance of the carbon-based electrodes will be evaluated through electrochemical experiments and their morphology, structure, and composition will be characterized by microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. Therefore, we are proposing an innovative application for carbon-based electrode in a RFB, which is being developed in PhD. Research project in Brazil. (AU)

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