TU Graz: Ecological Power Storage Battery Made of Vanillin

Read on how redox-flow batteries can become more environmentally friendly.

By replacing the core element of redox-flow batteries, the liquid electrolyte, with vanillin Stefan Spirk and his team from TU Graz have made redox-flow batteries even more environmentally friendly. As liquid electrolyte are mostly made up of ecological harmful heavy metals or rare earths, the conversion of the aromatic substance vanillin into a redox-active electrolyte material for liquid batteries plays a crucial role in the field of energy storage technology.

Vanillin, one of the few fine-chemicals produced is obtained from lignin. International research teams and companies have already proven that lignin is potentially suitable as a starting material for the production electrolytes. Stefan Spirk and his team refine lignin into vanillin into a redox-active material using mild and green chemistry without the use of toxic and expensive metal catalysts, so that it can be used in flow batteries.

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