An alkaline flow battery based on the coordination chemistry of iron and cobalt

Netzahualcóyotl Arroyo-Currás, Justin W. Hall, Jeffrey E. Dick, Richard A. Jones, Allen J. Bard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We present the first alkaline redox flow battery (a-RFB) based on the coordination chemistry of cobalt with 1-[Bis(2-hydroxyethyl)amino]-2-propanol (mTEA) and iron with triethanolamine (TEA) in 5 M NaOH. The overall redox system has a cell voltage of 0.93 V in the charged state. Importantly, the coordination compounds are negatively charged and have limited transport through the cation exchange membrane (e.g., Nafion), minimizing the extent of redox species crossover during charge-discharge cycling. Fe-TEA is electrochemically reversible and soluble up to 0.8 M, whereas Co-mTEA presents quasireversible electron transfer kinetics and can be solubilized up to 0.7 M. Cyclability was tested with a flow cell at a concentration 0.5 M up to 30 cycles using a 50 μm thick Nafion membrane, at 30 mA/cm2, with minimal crossover (less than 4% of net concentration) or evolution of gases detected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A378-A383
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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