Aqueous All-Organic Redox Flow Battery

Technology #16743

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Professor Fikile Brushett
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
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Andrew Jansen
Argonne National Laboratory
Jarrod Milshtein
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Liang Su
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
John Vaughey
Argonne National Laboratory
Managed By
Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Patent Protection

Materials for use with aqueous redox flow batteries and related methods and systems

US Patent Pending US 2015-0236543


This technology is applicable for large-scale energy storage such as load-balancing the electrical grid and storing energy from intermittent renewable sources.

Problem Addressed

Flow batteries are currently limited by low energy density, low efficiency, and high costs.  This technology develops a lower cost, higher energy capacity flow battery suitable for large-scale applications.


A major cost associated with flow batteries is the cost of the electrolyte.  Using water, which is much cheaper compared to other solvents, would be a cost-effective solution.  However, the currently used aqueous redox chemistries involve metals that have low solubility in water, limiting the capacity of the flow battery.  This technology uses quinoxaline based organic molecules instead of metals in the redox chemistry.  These organic molecules are much more soluble in water, which allows for more concentrated electrolyte and increased battery capacity.  The organic molecules can also carry two electrons per molecule, further increasing capacity.  Additionally, unlike the metal redox chemistries, the quinoxaline based chemistries do not require strongly acidic or alkaline conditions so the battery can be constructed out of plastic instead of more expensive corrosion-resistent materials.


  • High energy storage capacity
  • Lower cost than metal-based flow batteries