Investigation of Hydroxylated Carbon Felt Electrode in Vanadium Redox Flow Battery by Using Optimized Supporting Electrolyte

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Institute of Mechanics, Iranian Space Research Center, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Traditional vanadium batteries use pure sulfuric acid as electrolyte, but H2SO4 does not absorb enough vanadium ions to make the electrolyte an efficient energy source. This study investigates the effect of hydroxylation process on electrochemical and operational properties of carbon felt electrode in VOSO4 solution with an optimized supporting electrolyte (a mixture of six parts HCl and 2.5 parts H2SO4). Carbon felt electrode was hydroxylated with mixed acids of H2SO4 and HNO3 in a stainless steel autoclave for 6 h. Then thermal treatment of electrode was performed at 400 oC for 5h. Obtained results of cyclic voltammograms showed that when the carbon felt was hydroxylated, both oxidation and reduction peak currents were increased remarkably and the peak potential separation is decreased from 356 mV to 246 mV, suggesting that the electrochemical activity and the kinetic reversibility on HCF electrode were improved compared to the pristine one. According to results of electrochemical impedance spectra, charge transfer resistance (Rct) was calculated to be 648 Ω for pristine carbon felt. The obtained Rct at hydroxylated electrode (176 Ω) shows a decrease of about 73 % in Rct. Charge-discharge profiles of two cells assembled with the pristine carbon felt (cell A), and hydroxylated carbon felt (cell B) showed that energy, voltage and coulombic efficiencies were significantly improved by using the hydroxylated electrodes inside the cell of vanadium redox flow battery.

Keywords


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