Improved electrolyte for zinc-bromine flow batteries

M. C. Wu, T. S. Zhao, L. Wei, H. R. Jiang, R. H. Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional zinc bromide electrolytes offer low ionic conductivity and often trigger severe zinc dendrite growth in zinc-bromine flow batteries. Here we report an improved electrolyte modified with methanesulfonic acid, which not only improves the electrolyte conductivity but also ameliorates zinc dendrite. Experimental results also reveal that the kinetics and reversibility of Zn2+/Zn and Br2/Br are improved in this modified electrolyte. Moreover, the battery's internal resistance is significantly reduced from 4.9 to 2.0 Ω cm2 after adding 1 M methanesulfonic acid, thus leading to an improved energy efficiency from 64% to 75% at a current density of 40 mA cm−2. More impressively, the battery is capable of delivering an energy efficiency of about 78% at a current density of as high as 80 mA cm−2 when the electrode is replaced by a thermally treated one. Additionally, zinc dendrite growth is found to be effectively suppressed in methanesulfonic acid supported media, which, as a result, enables the battery to be operated for 50 cycles without degradation, whereas the one without methanesulfonic acid suffers from significant decay after only 40 cycles, primarily due to severe zinc dendrite growth. These superior results indicate methanesulfonic acid is a promising supporting electrolyte for zinc-bromine flow batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-239
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy storage
  • Power density
  • Zinc dendrite
  • Zinc-bromine flow battery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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