Seawater as an alternative to deionized water for electrolyte preparations in vanadium redox flow batteries

L. Wei, L. Zeng, M. C. Wu, X. Z. Fan, T. S. Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) has been identified as one of the most promising candidates for large-scale energy storage systems. Nevertheless, the high capital cost, particularly the cost of electrolytes, has hindered its broad market penetration. In this work, we use abundant seawater to replace deionized water for VRFB electrolyte preparation. Testing results show that both the coulombic efficiency and capacity retention rate in the case of using seawater electrolytes are higher than using the deionized-water electrolytes, although the battery voltage efficiency slightly decreases due to the lower mass transport diffusivity of V3+ in seawater. Moreover, the solubility of vanadium sulfate in seawater increases by ∼12%. The overall cost of seawater-prepared electrolytes is cheaper by 3.6% than that of the deionized water prepared electrolytes. The results indicate that seawater offers the potential to replace deionized water as a new avenue for VRFB electrolyte preparations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113344
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrolyte
  • Impurity
  • Seawater
  • VRFB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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