Bromine complexing agents for use in vanadium bromide (V/Br) redox flow cell [thesis]

Grace Poon
The Vanadium bromide (V/Br) flow cell employs the Br3-/Br- couple in the positive and the V(II)/V(III) couple in the negative half cell. One major issue of this flow cell is bromine gas formation in the positive half cell during charging which results from the low solubility of bromine in aqueous solutions. Bromine complexing agents previously used in the zinc-bromine fuel cell were evaluated for their applicability in V/Br flow cell electrolytes. Three quaternary ammonium bromides:
more » ... thyl-morpholinium bromide (MEM), N-ethyl-N-methyl-pyrrolidinium bromide (MEP) and Tetra-butyl ammonium bromide (TBA) were studied. It is known that aqueous bromine reacts with quaternary ammonium bromides to form an immiscible organic phase. Depending on the number of quaternary ammonium bromides used and the environmental temperature, the second phase formed will either be solid or liquid. As any solid formation would interrupt the flow cell operation, potential formation of such kind has to be eliminated. Stability tests of simulated V/Br electrolyte with added quaternary ammonium bromides were carried out at 11, 25 and 40 oC. In the absence of bromine, the addition of MEM, MEP and TBA were found to be stable in V/Br electrolytes. However, in the presence of bromine, solid formation was observed in the bromine rich organic phase when the V/Br electrolyte contained a single quaternary ammonium bromide (QBr) compound. For V/Br electrolytes with binary or ternary QBr mixtures containing TBA, the presence of bromine caused a viscous polybromide phase to form at room temperature and the release of bromine gas at higher temperature. Only a binary mixture of MEM and MEP formed a stable liquid organic phase between 11 – 40 oC. In this study it was found that V/Br electrolytes containing a binary QBr mixture (0.75M) of MEM and MEP gave the best combination that formed an orange oily layer in the presence of bromine without solidification between 11 – 40oC. Furthermore, it was found that samples of V/Br electrolytes containing a t [...]
doi:10.26190/unsworks/17824 fatcat:fkdr4dln6vbzvjxl2nbptvorti