BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Improving Batteries for Large-Scale Renewable Energy Storage
Published: April 18, 2011
Posted: April 29, 2011

Because sunshine and wind are not constant, renewable power production from these natural sources is intermittent without technologies that can store large amounts of electricity. One large-scale storage option is the vanadium redox battery; however, these batteries have been limited by high cost and a narrow range of operating temperatures. Using capabilities at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE scientific user facility, a team of scientists has found that by using a specific electrolyte solution the battery’s storage capacity could be increased by 70% and the temperature range within which the batteries operate could be expanded by 50%. Using EMSL’s Chinook supercomputer and a 500 MHz wide-bore nuclear magnetic resonance mass spectrometer, the researchers predicted, and then verified, that a soluble vanadium-containing species in the mixed electrolyte solution helped expand the temperature range of operation. This research was published online March 11 in Advanced Energy Materials and is partially supported by DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Reference: Li, L., S. Kim, W. Wang, M. Vijaayakumar, Z. Nie, B. Chen, J. Zhang, G. Xia, J. Hu, G. Graff, J. Liu, and Z. Yang. 2011. “A Stable Vanadium Redox-Flow Battery with High Energy Density for Large-Scale Energy Storage,” Advanced Energy Materials, Article Link

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: DOE Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)