A new class of high-performing organic molecules inspired by vitamin B2 can safely store electricity from intermittent energy sources like solar and wind power in large batteries.
The high-capacity flow battery uses organic molecules called quinones, which store energy in plants and animals, and a new class of battery electrolyte material. They contend in their study that it is high-performance, non-flammable, non-toxic, non-corrosive, and its low-cost could enable large-scale, inexpensive electricity storage.
Flow batteries store energy in solutions in external tanks — the bigger the tanks, the more energy they store. In 2014, these Harvard scholars replaced metal ions used as conventional battery electrolyte materials in acidic electrolytes with quinones. In 2015, they developed a quinone that could work in alkaline solutions alongside a common food additive. Now they have taken B2, which helps store energy in the body, as an inspiration. The key difference between B2 and quinones is that nitrogen atoms, instead of oxygen atoms, are involved in picking up and giving off electrons.
Read full article: New Organic Battery Made Using Vitamin B2