Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Organic Anolyte Materials for Flow Batteries

Technology #6668

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Melanie S. Sanford
Managed By
Keith Hughes
Assistant Director, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734-764-9429
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

A major factor in the widespread adaptation of solar and wind power for global energy production is the ability to harness that energy for use at later times. New advances in batteries are becoming increasingly important, as evidenced by unprecedented growth in the market for advanced grid-scale batteries, capable of storing many megawatt-hours of energy stably over long periods of time. Redox Flow Batteries(RFBs) are a type of battery capable of long-term storage of large amounts of energy suitable for grid-scale application, but their adaptation has been limited due to their reliance on aqueous redox systems that fail to produce the power needed some applications. Moving toward organic-based systems that have higher energy densities and operating potentials presents an ideal way forward for the RFB, thus we have developed an array of organic-compatible molecules capable of multiple redox couples at attractive potentials within a redox flow system. Utilization of these compounds in RFBs will lead to larger, more efficient energy storage with more flexibility in terms of power requirements.

Reversible, High Energy Redox Couples in Lithium Redox Flow Batteries

Developing molecules that undergo useful redox couples in the presence of lithium has been a major challenge for the RFB. We studied the effects of lithium on the redox properties of several scaffolds using electrochemical and theoretical techniques, which allowed us to iteratively develop these compounds into useful anolytes for RFBs. The current prototypes offer up to two redox couples, with an attractive weight to charge ratio of 130g/mole-.


  • Organic Anolytes for Redox Flow Batteries


  • High Energy Density
  • Flexible Operating Potentials