DETRIT – There is another energy storage system for electric vehicles starting to gain traction: The redox (reduction–oxidation) flow battery that gets 600 miles on a tank of salt water.

Flow batteries differ from conventional batteries in that their active material is in the form of two redox-couple solutions that are stored in external tanks and pumped through a stack of electrochemical cells where the charge and discharge reactions take place at inert electrode surfaces.

While flow batteries have found a home in grid energy storage they have yet to prove themselves in cars. However, the ability to replenish the ionic ‘salt’ solutions in a fashion that is very similar to filling a gas tank has drawn the attention of companies such as NanoFlowcell.

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