Electrochemical Residence Time Distribution as a Diagnostic Tool for Redox Flow Batteries

13 February 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The fluid dynamic and electrochemical performance of redox flow batteries (RFBs) stems from the relationship between the flow field and the porous electrode, whose interplay determines how active species move and react during device operation. While traditional chemical reactor characterization techniques, such as residence time distribution, offer insights into species mobility within a reactive volume, electrochemical reactors also enable simultaneous measurement of the redox reactions unlocking another dimension of analysis. Herein, we demonstrate how potentiodynamic measurements, using injections of electrolyte examined through moment analysis, can provide electrode-specific performance scaling relationships across a matrix of carbon paper and cloth electrodes with flow through and interdigitated flow fields. We further combine experimental campaigns with multiphysics simulations to demonstrate how electrode surface area can be estimated with this technique, which we then validate with commercial activated and unactivated carbon cloth electrodes. These studies reveal the multiscale observations that potentiodynamic measurements afford, augmenting existing electrochemical techniques for holistic electrochemical reactor diagnostics.


Flow battery
Flow field
Residence time distribution
Multiphysics modeling

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information: Electrochemical Residence Time Distribution as a Diagnostic Tool for Redox Flow Batteries
The supporting information for the main text.


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