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Carbon sheet-decorated graphite felt electrode with high catalytic activity for vanadium redox flow batteries

Gao, Yu, Wang, Hongrui, Ma, Qiang, Wu, Anjun, Zhang, Wei, Zhang, Chuanxiang, Chen, Zehua, Zeng, Xian-Xiang, Wu, Xiongwei, Wu, Yuping
Carbon 2019 v.148 pp. 9-15
active sites, batteries, catalytic activity, electrodes, electrolytes, energy efficiency, graphene, polymerization, reaction kinetics, transposons, vanadium, wettability
A carbon sheet-decorated graphite felt electrode was synthesized by in situ polymerization and subsequent high-temperature calcination under an inert atmosphere. The resultant material brings an improved wettability, numerous defect sites, and abundant O, N and P elements as additional catalytic sites to elevate the reaction kinetics and efficiency of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs). The unique CS modifier enriches electrolyte diffusion pathways, which even show a unique capillary flow. The GF@CS displays a high catalytic activity towards the VO2+/VO2+, V3+/VO2+ and V2+/V3+ oxidation-reduction couples and a reduced cathodic and anodic peak potential difference of 355 mV (vs. 564 mV for GF). The improvement to the electrode results in a GF@CS-based battery presenting an increased capacity of 20.8 Ah L−1 compared to 13.0 Ah L−1 of the GF-based battery and an increase in power density from 225 mA cm−2 to 300 mA cm−2. Furthermore, the battery exhibited a 74.79% energy efficiency (EE) at 150 mA cm−2, with no attenuation even at 300 cycles. GF@CS greatly elevates the reaction kinetics and efficiency of VRFBs.