Canadian society VanadiumCorp Resource Inc. (TSXV: VRB; FRA: NWN) does not want to be satisfied with the role of raw material producer in the future. Instead, VanadiumCorp wants to help improve the performance of vanadium redox flow batteries (“VRFB”) itself.
For this purpose, VRB, together with a German-Australian alliance of scientists from the University of New South Wales “UNSW” Sydney, Australia, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology “ICT” in Germany, has set up a trilateral initiative called CENELEST-VanadiumCorp (“CENELEST-VRB”). The declared aim of CENELEST-VRB is to develop a battery electrolyte with a higher energy density. Just a week ago, VRB had received the approval notice for a new US patent for the extraction of vanadium by electrochemical processes as an upstream technology.
The CENELEST VRB research revolves around the potential of vanadium bromide “V-Br” as an electrolyte. A V-Br electrolyte with higher energy density and advances in stack architecture could deliver two to three times the amount of energy a conventional VRFB, the scientists hope. The work on this topic was and is carried out both at the University of New South Wales and at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Germany. All three parties contributed technologies and know-how for the V-Br electrolyte project.
Higher energy density could enable smaller VRF batteries for mobile applications
The parties involved believe that the V-Br electrolyte has the potential for revolutionary progress in the VFRB. The higher energy density would enable mobile applications for heavy vehicles, trains, ships and many other applications in particular, due to the associated reduction in size of the battery with the same performance. The safe and long-lasting “zero-emission” electrochemistry of the VRFB would be preserved. Thanks to V-Br electrolyte, VFRB could also open up applications that were previously only possible with lithium ions.
VanadiumCorp wants to present the advances in electrolyte and vanadium cells in Q1 2021
Adriaan Bakker, Chief Executive Officer of VanadiumCorp, said “We are at the forefront of VRFB innovation with CENELEST for the electrification of both stationary and mobile applications. Vanadium is the only renewable metal in energy storage. We want vanadium using our own Produce green VEPT technology as a green fuel for energy storage in any size. “
The work carried out by VanadiumCorp-CENELEST in 2020 includes the formulation of the V-Br electrolyte, the characterization of the physico-chemical properties of the electrolyte, the material selection of the cell components and the testing of the cell performance. VanadiumCorp will present the advances in the electrolyte and vanadium cell in the first quarter of 2021. The V-Br work follows the groundbreaking research UNSW Engineering has been doing on VFRB since the 1980s. The meanwhile emeritus professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos, who is considered to be the inventor of the VFRB, also worked there. Ms. Skyllas-Kazacos has also been a member of the VanadiumCorp Advisory Board since 2011.
Since 2017, the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have been working closely together as an alliance to intensify research activities in the field of electrochemical energy storage systems and establish a joint international research center for stationary energy storage (CENELEST) at UNSW in Sydney, Australia.
The aim of this collaboration is to bundle the world-class expertise in the field of redox flow batteries and at the same time to develop other types of batteries and fuel cells to cover the entire spectrum of electrochemical energy storage needs.
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