Michael Marshak, Ph.D.
Speaker's Institution
University of Colorado Boulder
Chemistry A101
Mixer Time
Mixer Location
Chemistry B101E
Additional Information

About the Seminar:

Widespread adoption of renewable energy is limited by the lack of low-cost long-duration energy storage. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) are an attractive option to meet this energy storage need because their power and energy components can be scaled independently by storing energy with redox-active materials dissolved in solution. To date, RFB electrolytes have utilized expensive metals dissolved in corrosive acid or suffered from performance issues such as hydrogen generation, ion-crossover across the membrane, slow redox kinetics, and acidic operating conditions. Addressing these issues could enable RFBs to become a cost-effective and efficient energy storage system, allowing for wide-spread adoption of RFBs as large-scale energy storage sources, and therefore enable renewable energy to become a larger part of electric power production. In this talk, a class of chelated metals is presented that could enable low-cost energy storage with flow batteries to be realized. Chelates related to ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) are shown to stabilize metal ions in aqueous solution at very reducing potentials while inhibiting degradation, improving solubility, and increasing electron transfer kinetics. The fundamental coordination chemistry and geometries of the particular metals and chelates are critical for battery stability, function, and performance.

About the Speaker: Michael received his B.A. in Chemistry at Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at MIT. After completion of his graduate studies in 2012, Michael hiked 2668 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Upon returning to Cambridge, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Profs. Michael AzizRoy Gordon, and Alán Aspuru-Guzik at Harvard University, where he helped to pioneer the use of organic materials called quinones for flow batteries, a promising new technology that can store massive quantities of energy on the electric grid.