Universiteit Leiden

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Research project


How can we develop a new organic redox flow battery suitable to work at higher temperatures?

2020 - 2023
Itziar Carracedo Fernández (AIMPLAS)
European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

AliénorEU, Belgium
COBRA instalaciones y Servicios S.A., Spain 
Ku Leuven M2S - cMACS - Membrane Technology Group, Germany
Schunk Kohlenstofftechnik GmbH, Germany
Asociación de Investigación de Materiales Plásticos y Conexas, Spain
ETRA Research & Development, Spain
Tecnodimension Hinchable, SL, Spain
CMBlu Energy AG, Germany
KONČAR Digital, Croatia,
Autoritat Portuària de Balears, Spain
University Leiden. Faculty of Science, Institute of Environmental Sciences CML, Netherlands

Short abstract

Developing a new organic redox flow battery suitable to work at higher temperatures.

Project description

With electrification being one of the main pathways to decarbonisation, batteries have a key role to play. At every moment, the consumption of electricity must be matched with the generation of electricity, which is difficult to do with non-continuous renewable sources. Batteries are therefore crucial for storing energy when available and for releasing it into the electrical grid when no energy is generated.

Lithium-ion batteries currently dominate the markets for both mobile and stationary energy storage. Despite their success so far, important limitations are starting to raise concerns, such as the use of lithium, cobalt and the social and environmental risks posed by the extraction of these minerals.

Organic Redox flow batteries (ORFB) are a promising concept that mostly relies on cheap and abundant materials which entail much lower social and ecological risks. ORFBs are designed to work at temperature of up to 40°c, however, the battery generates heat under certain circumstances. BALIHT develops a new ORFB suitable for use at higher temperatures, without the need for a cooling system. This innovation allows the battery to be up to 20% more energy efficient than existing ORFBs.

To ensure the sustainability benefits of the BALIHT alternative are maximized, Leiden University brings its expertise in the prospective sustainability appraisal of emerging technologies using tools such as Social and Environmental Life Cycle Assessment and Chemical Risk Assessment. The assessments conducted by Leiden University throughout the project provide guidelines for the partners in charge of battery technology development under the principles of Safe and Sustainable-by-Design and responsible innovation.

Leiden University researchers Maarten Koese and Carlos Felipe Blanco facilitate an LCA workshop at CMBlu facilities in Alzenau, Germany.
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