UC electrode research paving the way for cheaper renewable energy storage
Research into the electrodes used in flow batteries at the University of Canterbury (UC) has the potential to help create cheaper, longer-life batteries for more renewable energy storage.
Associate Professor Aaron Marshall prepares a vanadium solution for one of his flow batteries.
Associate Professor Aaron Marshall from the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering is focusing his research on flow battery technology, designed to store large amounts of energy for long times under safe conditions.
“Most lithium-ion batteries only work for a few thousand cycles before needing to be replaced and recycling these batteries is complex. However, flow batteries can run for at least 20,000 cycles and are also very easy to recycle.
“The problem is that current flow batteries are big and expensive as the reactions which happen at the electrodes are very slow. My research uses catalysts to speed up these reactions so that we can use smaller electrodes and thus make cheaper batteries.”
Associate Professor Marshall says while there has been previous research in this area, he has the advantage of being able to accurately measure the speed of the reactions.