Recent advances have enabled energy-dense, flowable chemistries that can be used in flow or conventional “static” battery architectures. This new flexibility prompts the need to identify the lowest cost and highest performance architecture for a given chemistry. In “Component-cost and performance based comparison of flow and static batteries,” we present a techno-economic model to assess what chemistries are most appropriate for static or flow battery architectures. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the analysis suggests that a newly proposed energy-dense, flowable lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP)/lithium-titanium-phosphate (LTP) chemistry is more favorably used in conventional static cells than in flow cells. This finding led to a significant technological pivot for the company 24M.
2) Gravity-induced flow cell
Energy-dense semi-solid flowable chemistries offer an opportunity to rethink conventional battery designs. In “A low-dissipation, pumpless, gravity-induced flow battery” a novel flow battery, conceptually analogous to an hourglass, is designed and tested. Using gravity to drive flow with a combination of cell geometry, surface engineering, and gas-flow control to modify flow rate, the flow cell is demonstrated using an electronically-conductive lithium polysulfide-nanocarbon catholyte against a stationary lithium metal electrode. This design is an example of a new class of passively-driven flow battery concepts that could provide greater simplicity and reliability than traditional flow battery architectures.