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Creators/Authors contains: "Kwabi, David G."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 4, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 28, 2025
  3. Abstract

    Organic redox-active molecules are attractive as redox-flow battery (RFB) reactants because of their low anticipated costs and widely tunable properties. Unfortunately, many lab-scale flow cells experience rapid material degradation (from chemical and electrochemical decay mechanisms) and capacity fade during cycling (>0.1%/day) hindering their commercial deployment. In this work, we combine ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry and statistical inference techniques to elucidate the Michael attack decay mechanism for 4,5-dihydroxy-1,3-benzenedisulfonic acid (BQDS), a once-promising positive electrolyte reactant for aqueous organic redox-flow batteries. We use Bayesian inference and multivariate curve resolution on the spectroscopic data to derive uncertainty-quantified reaction orders and rates for Michael attack, estimate the spectra of intermediate species and establish a quantitative connection between molecular decay and capacity fade. Our work illustrates the promise of using statistical inference to elucidate chemical and electrochemical mechanisms of capacity fade in organic redox-flow battery together with uncertainty quantification, in flow cell-based electrochemical systems.

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  4. We perform a thermodynamic analysis of the energetic cost of CO 2 separation from flue gas (0.1 bar CO 2 (g)) and air (400 ppm CO 2 ) using a pH swing created by electrochemical redox reactions involving proton-coupled electron transfer from molecular species in aqueous electrolyte. In this scheme, electrochemical reduction of these molecules results in the formation of alkaline solution, into which CO 2 is absorbed; subsequent electrochemical oxidation of the reduced molecules results in the acidification of the solution, triggering the release of pure CO 2 gas. We examined the effect of buffering from the CO 2 –carbonate system on the solution pH during the cycle, and thereby on the open-circuit potential of an electrochemical cell in an idealized four-process CO 2 capture-release cycle. The minimum work input varies from 16 to 75 kJ mol CO2 −1 as throughput increases, for both flue gas and direct air capture, with the potential to go substantially lower if CO 2 capture or release is performed simultaneously with electrochemical reduction or oxidation. We discuss the properties required of molecules that would be suitable for such a cycle. We also demonstrate multiple experimental cycles of an electrochemical CO 2 capture and release system using 0.078 M sodium 3,3′-(phenazine-2,3-diylbis(oxy))bis(propane-1-sulfonate) as the proton carrier in an aqueous flow cell. CO 2 capture and release are both performed at 0.465 bar at a variety of current densities. When extrapolated to infinitesimal current density we obtain an experimental cycle work of 47.0 kJ mol CO2 −1 . This result suggests that, in the presence of a 0.465 bar/1.0 bar inlet/outlet pressure ratio, a 1.9 kJ mol CO2 −1 thermodynamic penalty should add to the measured value, yielding an energy cost of 48.9 kJ mol CO2 −1 in the low-current-density limit. This result is within a factor of two of the ideal cycle work of 34 kJ mol CO2 −1 for capturing at 0.465 bar and releasing at 1.0 bar. The ideal cycle work and experimental cycle work values are compared with those for other electrochemical and thermal CO 2 separation methods. 
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