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Keywords:

  • electrochemistry;
  • energy;
  • mass transfer

The convection battery forces flow of electrolyte through the cathode, anode, and the separator between them, unlike a flow battery where electrolyte cannot cross the separator. The goal is to increase ion fluxes (A/cm2) to realize the benefit of thicker electrodes, lower cost batteries, and reduced charge times. A pump that circulates electrolyte was turned off to create a diffusion control to which the performance of the convection battery was compared. Based on performance at <1.1 V overpotential (based on a 3.1 V open circuit) and similar capacity utilization, the convection battery provided a 5.6-fold increase in ion flux for these initial studies, increasing flux from 1.6 to 8–10 A/cm2. Little capacity fade was observed on the measured discharge cycles (10 cycles). These studies provided an important milestone in the research, development, and validation of a new battery design including cycling studies with lithium iron phosphate chemistry. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 1774–1779, 2013