Thesis – Optimization of the electrolyte of iron/iron redox flow batteries

The amount of fluctuating renewable energies in the electrical grids is increasing worldwide, and with it the demand for inexpensive ways of storing energy. One variant is electrochemical storage systems such as stationary batteries to provide decentralized energy reserves. Today’s available systems are mainly lead/acid, lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur and redox flow batteries. Each of these technologies has its specific advantages and disadvantages which affect the storage costs. To reduce costs, therefore, in addition to optimizing existing technologies, alternative types of batteries can be investigated and developed that have the potential for inexpensive and safe energy storage in the future. An interesting technology is the iron/iron redox flow battery. Unlike its similar representative, the vanadium redox flow battery, Fe/Fe-RFB use inexpensive and widely available iron salts as active material for energy storage and are therefore potentially extremely inexpensive. However, this technology is little studied and needs further development to commercialize future cheap and safe energy storage for renewable energy.

Task definition
On the basis of electrochemical, chemical and physical investigations electrolyte optimizations are to be accomplished. In this context, it is important to improve the properties of the batteries, taking into account the complex relationships between concentration and type of ingredients. For example, optimal concentrations of the ingredients or the influence of additives should be determined.

Requirements and general conditions
Degree program chemistry, physics, chemical or physical engineering or comparable. Basic knowledge in electrochemistry and electrochemical methods like cyclic voltammetry or linear sweep voltammetry is required.


Fraunhofer ICT – Pfinztal/Germany

For further information please contact Adj. Assoc. Prof. (UNSW) Jens Noack (Tel.: +49 (721) 4640870. E-mail: or Prof. Dr. Karsten Pinkwart (Tel.: +49 (721) 4640322. E-mail: