We report here the synthesis, characterization and properties of 3,6-dihydroxy-2,4-dimethylbenzenesulfonic acid (DHDMBS) as a new positive side electrolyte material for aqueous organic redox flow batteries (ORBAT). We have synthesized this material in pure form in high yield and confirmed its structure. We have determined that the standard reduction potential, the rate constant of the redox reaction, and the diffusion coefficient are ideally suited for use in ORBAT. Specifically, DHDMBS overcomes the major issue of Michael reaction with water faced with 4,5-dihydroxybenzene-1,3-disulfonic acid (BQDS) and similar unsubstituted benzoquinones in the selection of positive electrolyte materials. DHDMBS can be synthesized relatively inexpensively. We have demonstrated the chemical stability of DHDMBS to repeated electrochemical cycling through NMR and electrochemical studies proving the absence of products of the Michael reaction. A flow cell with DHDMBS and anthraquinone-2,7-disulfonic acid has now been shown to operate close to 100% coulombic efficiency for over 25 cycles when continuously cycled at 100 mA/cm 2 , and can sustain current densities as high as 500 mA/cm 2 without noticeable chemical degradation. However, there was a slow decrease in the capacity of the flow cell attributable to the crossover of DHDMBS from the positive side of the cell. Thus, the present study has shown DHDMBS as a promising candidate for the positive side material for an all-organic aqueous redox flow battery in acidic media, and our future efforts will focus on understanding the crossover of DHDMBS and the effects of long-term cycling.
Hoober-Burkhardt, L., Krishnamoorthy, S., Yang, B., Murali, A., Nirmalchandar, A., Prakash, G. K. S., & Narayanan, S. R. (2017). A New Michael-Reaction-Resistant Benzoquinone for Aqueous Organic Redox Flow Batteries. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 164(4), A600–A607. https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0351704jes