Research Topic

Advanced Redox Flow Batteries for Sustainable Energy Storage Applications

About this Research Topic

The development of high-efficiency and sustainable energy conversion and storage technologies is expected to play an increasingly prominent role in solving the energy crisis and environmental pollution arising from the overuse of fossil fuels. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) have demonstrated great potential in grid-scale energy storage, especially for mitigating power grid fluctuation and buffering the output of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power plants.

While the research field of RFBs is growing rapidly, there are still a variety of issues that need to be addressed, e.g., low energy density, short cycle life, narrow voltage windows, and high system costs. Moreover, the development of grid-scale RFB systems beyond laboratory prototypes also faces significant obstacles. Thus, there is a great need of advancement of both the fundamental sciences and technological engineering to promote the commercialization of RFBs.

Such a knowledge gap calls for novel designs of the key components in RFBs, such as redox-active species, electrolytes, separators, electrodes, multi-cell stacks across scales, control units, cost analysis, field analytics, etc. For this purpose, this Research Topic seeks to collect new ideas in the molecular engineering of key materials aimed at the construction of high-performance RFBs. We sincerely invite submissions of original research papers, review articles and perspectives including both experimental and theoretical studies on the material designs, electrochemical processes, and degradation mechanisms for RFBs.

With respect to fundamental science, we welcome novel research contributions in RFBs that can advance our basic understanding of RFBs. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

 •the design and synthesis of novel redox active species that can deliver high specific capacity and high operation voltage in RFBs
 •the development of highly compatible anolyte/catholyte systems that can dissolve high-concentration active species and meanwhile deliver long-term cycling stability
 •the design and modification of high-performance separators (i.e., ion-exchange membranes) to promote ionic conductivity, improve cycle life, and eliminate the crossover of active species
 •the design of other key components for RFBs, such as current collectors, control units, etc.
 •novel designs of electrode structures to facilitate fast electron transfer and high voltaic efficiency
 •strategies and/or proposed mechanisms to improve ion diffusion mobility, redox reaction kinetics, and reaction reversibility in cells
 •elucidating redox and charge-transfer mechanisms at both experimental and theoretical levels
 •novel methods/technologies/strategies for in-depth characterization and analysis of electrochemical processes in RFBs

On the other hand, we also welcome contributions on cell design improvements and engineering advancements to build practical large-scale RFB systems, including but not limited to:

 •structural design and performance assessments of large-scale RFB systems based on lab-scale and practical configurations
 •developing new theoretical and experimental tools suitable for RFBs
 •monitoring the state of charge via real-time and/or in-situ characterizations
 •establishing the protocols and standards to ensure data reliability and repeatability


Keywords: energy storage, large scale, low-cost and sustainable, redox flow batteries, electrochemical redox pairs, redox-active species, anolyte and catholyte, aqueous and nonaqueous electrolytes, ion-exchange membranes, ion diffusion and migration, redox kinetics and mechanism, cycling stability, energy density, energy efficiency and Coulombic efficiency, in situ characterization, in-operando characterization, battery modules and packs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The development of high-efficiency and sustainable energy conversion and storage technologies is expected to play an increasingly prominent role in solving the energy crisis and environmental pollution arising from the overuse of fossil fuels. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) have demonstrated great potential in grid-scale energy storage, especially for mitigating power grid fluctuation and buffering the output of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power plants.

While the research field of RFBs is growing rapidly, there are still a variety of issues that need to be addressed, e.g., low energy density, short cycle life, narrow voltage windows, and high system costs. Moreover, the development of grid-scale RFB systems beyond laboratory prototypes also faces significant obstacles. Thus, there is a great need of advancement of both the fundamental sciences and technological engineering to promote the commercialization of RFBs.

Such a knowledge gap calls for novel designs of the key components in RFBs, such as redox-active species, electrolytes, separators, electrodes, multi-cell stacks across scales, control units, cost analysis, field analytics, etc. For this purpose, this Research Topic seeks to collect new ideas in the molecular engineering of key materials aimed at the construction of high-performance RFBs. We sincerely invite submissions of original research papers, review articles and perspectives including both experimental and theoretical studies on the material designs, electrochemical processes, and degradation mechanisms for RFBs.

With respect to fundamental science, we welcome novel research contributions in RFBs that can advance our basic understanding of RFBs. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

 •the design and synthesis of novel redox active species that can deliver high specific capacity and high operation voltage in RFBs
 •the development of highly compatible anolyte/catholyte systems that can dissolve high-concentration active species and meanwhile deliver long-term cycling stability
 •the design and modification of high-performance separators (i.e., ion-exchange membranes) to promote ionic conductivity, improve cycle life, and eliminate the crossover of active species
 •the design of other key components for RFBs, such as current collectors, control units, etc.
 •novel designs of electrode structures to facilitate fast electron transfer and high voltaic efficiency
 •strategies and/or proposed mechanisms to improve ion diffusion mobility, redox reaction kinetics, and reaction reversibility in cells
 •elucidating redox and charge-transfer mechanisms at both experimental and theoretical levels
 •novel methods/technologies/strategies for in-depth characterization and analysis of electrochemical processes in RFBs

On the other hand, we also welcome contributions on cell design improvements and engineering advancements to build practical large-scale RFB systems, including but not limited to:

 •structural design and performance assessments of large-scale RFB systems based on lab-scale and practical configurations
 •developing new theoretical and experimental tools suitable for RFBs
 •monitoring the state of charge via real-time and/or in-situ characterizations
 •establishing the protocols and standards to ensure data reliability and repeatability


Keywords: energy storage, large scale, low-cost and sustainable, redox flow batteries, electrochemical redox pairs, redox-active species, anolyte and catholyte, aqueous and nonaqueous electrolytes, ion-exchange membranes, ion diffusion and migration, redox kinetics and mechanism, cycling stability, energy density, energy efficiency and Coulombic efficiency, in situ characterization, in-operando characterization, battery modules and packs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 April 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 April 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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