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An Exploratory Study into Iron/Chromium Redox Flow Batteries and Kinetic Method Development for Materials Discovery

Parr, Zachary (2022) An Exploratory Study into Iron/Chromium Redox Flow Batteries and Kinetic Method Development for Materials Discovery. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The world will face an important challenge over the next 30 years switching from the
reliance of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Wind and solar are the most likely energy
source for this transition, but their availability is not consistent enough to meet the world’s
energy demand. Thus, an important part of overcoming our reliance on fossil fuels will be to
store renewable energy sources when they are abundantly available to be used during periods
when their availability is less than the demand.
This thesis describes my efforts and contributions toward this challenge through research
done on redox flow batteries over the past 2 years. Our team was able to address a key
problem found through literature in this field that highlighted discrepancies for kinetic rate
constant values extracted through various methods for viable flow battery electrolyte redox
reactions. We developed a universal method to analyze flow battery electrolyte kinetics
in an in-situ environment that yielded k0
eff results within an order of magnitude difference
of simulated data. By standardizing kinetic extraction methods for different flow battery
electrolytes, we hope to advance materials discovery for flow batteries and move towards a
cost competitive alternative for grid scale energy storage.
Additionally, we studied the Cr3+/2+ redox reaction in detail for its application in an
Fe/Cr redox flow battery. The reversibility of the Cr3+/2+ redox reaction has been problem-
atic in advancing Fe/Cr redox flow batteries in the past. However, by using saturated salt
solutions, we found we could enhance the Cr3+/2+ redox kinetics across various electrodes.
We hypothesize that a local pH affect near the electrode surface is allowing for redox chem-
istry to occur. We hope that by continuing this study, the use of saturated salt solutions
can be implemented to optimize Cr3+/2+ redox chemistry in Fe/Cr RFBs.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Parr, Zacharyzap28@pitt.eduzap28
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcKone,
Committee MemberFullerton,
Committee MemberNiepa,
Date: 6 September 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 May 2022
Approval Date: 6 September 2022
Submission Date: 28 June 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 97
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Chemical Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Renewable Energy, Redox Flow Battery, Fe/Cr, Redox Kinetics
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 16:22
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 16:22


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