Investigation of Carbon Materials for Use as a Flowable Electrode in Electrochemical Flow Capacitors
Jonathan W. Campos, Majid Beidaghi, Kelsey B. Hatzell, Christopher R. Dennison, Benjamin Musci, Volker Presser, Emin C. Kumbur, Yury Gogotsi
Novel electrical energy storage concept, the electrochemical flow capacitor (EFC), holds much promise for grid-scale energy storage applications. The EFC combines the principles behind the operation of flow batteries and supercapacitors, and enables rapid charging/discharging and decoupled energy/power ratings. Electrical charge is stored in a flowable carbon slurry composed of low-cost and abundantly available carbon particles in pH-neutral, aqueous electrolyte. Charge storage and transfer is analogous to solid carbon electrodes in conventional supercapacitors. Here, the effects of carbon particle solid fraction, shape, and size on the electrochemical and rheological properties of slurry electrodes are investigated. A static cell configuration is utilized for studying the electrochemical properties of the flowable electrodes. The electrochemical properties of the slurry electrodes tested in a static cell are found to be similar to that of solid electrodes in conventional supercapacitors for both, large spherical and anisometric activated carbons. Flow properties of the slurry electrodes are obtained for shear rates corresponding to pumping shear rates by rheometry. Results indicate that electrochemical and rheological properties of slurries depend on their concentration, shape and size of the carbon particles used in the slurries. For a range of concentrations, slurries based on spherical carbon particles show lower viscosities compared to anisometric activated carbon based slurries while performing similar electrochemically.