Squishy Physics

Next seminar: Wednesday November 14th in Pierce Hall 209 at 6 PM:


Developing materials design criteria for next-generation redox flow batteries



Fikile Brushett

Department of Chemical Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Electrochemical energy storage has emerged as a critical technology to enable sustainable electricity generation by alleviating intermittency from renewable sources, reducing transmission congestion, enhancing grid resiliency, and decoupling generation from demand.  Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are rechargeable electrochemical devices that store energy via the reduction and oxidation of soluble active species, which are housed in external tanks and pumped to a power-generating reactor.  As compared to enclosed batteries, RFBs offer an attractive alternative due to decoupled power and energy, long service life, and simple manufacturing, but further cost reductions are needed for ubiquitous adoption.

Recent research has focused on the discovery and development of new redox chemistries.  Of particular interest are low cost organic molecules and / or nonaqueous electrolytes with wide electrochemical windows, since decreasing materials cost and increasing cell potential offer credible pathways to lowering battery price.  Though exciting, most of these emerging concepts only consider new materials in isolation rather than as part of a battery system.  Understanding the critical relationships between material properties and overall battery price is key to enabling systematic improvements in RFBs.  In this talk, I will discuss the use of techno-economic modeling as a guide for application-informed fundamental science to identify key technical hurdles, to highlight new research avenues, and, ultimately, to decrease time to commercialization.



Squishy Physics & Pizza Seminar Series

When: Wednesday Evenings - Pizza served at 5:55 PM, talks start at 6 pm till...

Where: Room 209, Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford St, on the Harvard Campus. Directions and parking instructions are here.

What: These talks are informal, with emphasis on new results and ideas, rather than polished presentations. The Squishy audience members typically include soft matter scientists, physicists, engineers, chemists, and biologists.  The goal is to stimulate discussion with the audience.  Talks are typically about 45 minutes long, with lots of questions along the way.

Pizza: Only the finest! 

How to join the weekly Squishy Physics mailing list: please visit the Signup Page.

Directions: Where: Squishy Physics talks are held in Pierce Hall room 301, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. See Harvard Campus map here.

Parking: Metered parking is available on Oxford Street.  Speakers, please contact Matthew Zahnzinger to obtain a parking permit.  

Squishy Physics is sponsored by the Cabot Corporation, Dean Cherry Murray and the Weitz Research Group.

If you have comments or suggestions or would like to give a talk, please contact Joerg Werner, Stefano Aime, or Perry Ellis.

Here is the upcoming schedule