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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R000301/1
Title: Complexes with Redox Non-Innocent Ligands for Flow Battery Energy Storage
Principal Investigator: Toghill, Dr K
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 August 2017 Ends: 31 July 2018 Value (£): 99,671
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
25 Apr 2017 EPSRC Physical Sciences - April 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The large-scale energy storage of electricity generated by intermittent renewable sources is one of the greatest challenges faced by modern society. Renewable electricity is increasingly replacing fossil fuel power in our demanding energy network, now accounting for a quarter of our national electrical energy supply. However, a low cost means of storing that unpredictable energy supply to match demand has yet to be developed.

Redox flow batteries are large scale rechargeable batteries particularly suited to grid scale storage. They are modular, flexible, inherently safe, and have lifetimes over 20 years. In particular, power and energy storage are independently scalable, unlike traditional batteries such as lithium ion. Megawatt-hour systems of aqueous batteries have been installed globally to support wind and solar farms, yet are expensive and unsustainable, typically costing triple the target value of feasible energy storage.

To ensure a real reduction in the cost of flow battery energy storage, an overhaul of the intrinsic chemistry of the system is necessary. An approach is required where complexes are targeted in their design to deliver specific properties, and are comprised of sustainable, low cost materials. The objective of this research is to identify, synthesise and evaluate complexes that exploit the higher voltages and opportunity for rational design offered by using non-aqueous solvents. Furthermore, the programme offers the prospect of working with a network of academics and industry such that the strategic new chemistries and the flow cell engineering are developed simultaneously.

Redox flow batteries are scalable technologies, therefore can range from single household systems (on the kilowatt-hour scale), to community and grid-scale networks. The ultimate objective of this work is to offer affordable, sustainable and long-lasting electrical energy storage, to make renewable electricity reliable and accessible to everyone.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk