A Method for Evaluating Soluble Redox Couple Stability using Microelectrode Voltammetry

21 May 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Soluble, redox-active, organic materials hold promise as charge-storage species for flow batteries; however, their stability during extended operation remains a key challenge. While a number of spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques are currently used to probe these complex and often ill-defined decay pathways, each technique has limitations, including accessibility and direct evaluation of practical electrolytes without preparatory steps. Here, we use microelectrode voltammetry to directly observe nonaqueous flow battery electrolytes, simultaneously identifying the rate of charged materials decay (reversible material loss) and total material decay (irreversible material loss). We validate this technique using ferrocene as a stable model redox couple, examine and address sources of error, and finally, demonstrate its capability by assessing the decay of a well-studied and moderately-stable substituted dialkoxybenzene [2,5-di-tert-butyl-1,4-bis(2-methoxyethoxy)benzene]. These results suggest that microelectrodes may have utility for rapid assessment of redox electrolyte state-of-charge and state-of-health, both in-operando and post-mortem.


organic redox couples
energy storage


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.