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Title: Nanorod Niobium Oxide as Powerful Catalysts for an All Vanadium Redox Flow Battery

Graphite felts (GFs), as typical electrode materials for all vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs), limit the cell operation to low current density because of their poor kinetic reversibility and electrochemical activity. Here, in order to address this issue we report an electrocatalyst, Nb2O5, decorating the surface of GFs to reduce the activation barrier for redox conversion. Nb2O5 nanofibers with monoclinic phases are synthesized by hydrothermal method and deposited on GFs, which is confirmed to have catalytic effects towards redox couples of V(II)/V(III) at the negative side and V(IV)/V(V) at the positive side, and thus applied in both electrodes of VRB cells. Due to the low conductivity of Nb2O5, the performance of electrodes heavily depends on the nano size and uniform distribution of catalysts on GFs surfaces. The addition of the water-soluble compounds containing W element into the precursor solutions facilitates the precipitation of nanofibers on the GFs. Accordingly, an optimal amount of W-doped Nb2O5 nanofibers with weaker agglomeration and better distribution on GFs surfaces are obtained, leading to significant improvement of the electrochemical performances of VRB cells particularly under the high power operation. The corresponding energy efficiency is enhanced by 10.7 % under the operation of high charge/discharge current densitymore » (150 mA•cm-2) owing to faster charge transfer as compared with that without catalysts. These results suggest that Nb2O5 based nanofibers-decorating GFs hold great promise as high-performance electrodes for VRB applications.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47476; TE1400000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nano Letters, 14(1):158-165
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Energy Storage, Redox flow battery, Catalysts, Electrode, Vanadium, Nanofibers; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory