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Title: Development of a zinc-cerium redox flow battery
Author: Leung, Pui-ki
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 7576
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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Redox flow batteries (RFBs) can be used to store energy on the large and medium scale (kW – MW), particularly in applications such as load levelling of electrical power supplies, power quality control application and facilitating renewable energy deployment. In this thesis, the development of a divided and undivided zinc-cerium redox flow battery from its fundamental chemistry in aqueous methanesulfonic acid has been described. This comprehensive investigation has focused on the selection of electrode materials, evaluation of zinc corrosion of the negative electrode, characterization of the redox flow battery and the cycling performance. Voltammetric studies of both the zinc and the cerium half-cell reactions have been carried out under various operating conditions and for electrolyte compositions. These studies suggested that the positive electrode reaction could limit the use of higher current densities. After testing a range of two- and three-dimensional positive electrode materials, only three-dimensional platinised titanium mesh and carbon felts were capable of discharge at 50 mA cm-2 with high charge ( > 70 %)and voltage ( > 60 %) efficiencies in an divided system based on the optimum electrolyte compositions obtained in the half-cell studies. In order to avoid the diffusion of protons across the membrane and to simplify the construction, an undivided, membraneless system was proposed. With specific design arrangement and carbon felt positive electrode, this system can operate at room temperature with a high energy efficiency (~ 75 %) instead of 60 oC as reported in the patented system in the literature. In order to facilitate zinc electrodeposition and prevent zinc corrosion, several electrolytic additives and corrosion inhibitors have been suggested. Further challenges and research directions are also discussed.
Supervisor: Ponce De Leon Albarran, Carlos ; Wills, Richard ; Walsh, Frank Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QD Chemistry ; TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering ; TP Chemical technology