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Keywords:

  • cyclic performance;
  • electrochemistry;
  • hydrogen-bromine flow battery;
  • platinum;
  • redox chemistry;
  • side reaction

Abstract

This paper explores the critical factors dominating the cycle performance of the hydrogen/bromine redox flow battery (RFB). Carbon electrode oxidation to CO2 was seen as the dominant side reaction, which can be prevented by operating the cell below 1.4 V. Crossover of bromide species from the positive to the negative electrode, especially during charge, dominates the coulombic efficiency, and can result in dissolution of the Pt catalyst if an adequate hydrogen supply is not maintained. This paper also describes the tradeoffs in voltaic, energy, and coulombic efficiencies during cycling, including the determination of the peak energy efficiency with respect to the HBr concentration and current density. Long-term cycling demonstrates negligible cell-component degradation over 600 cycles (≈3 months), with capacity loss caused by the bromine from the system, which can be mitigated by proper system design. The data and methodologies provided in this paper can be used to understand better the operation of this and other RFBs.