Emily  Penn

Emily Penn

Scholar Title

MIT ChemE | Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Large Scale Energy Storage: Synthesis and Characterization of Advanced Porous Electrodes for Redox Flow Batteries





Research Areas
  • Chemistry

Fikile Brushett


To integrate renewable energy technologies into the existing grid, large-scale energy storage systems are necessary to ensure that power can be stored until it is needed. The Redox Flow Battery (RFB) has shown potential for this application but requires improvements in efficiency and cost. By optimizing the electrode, RFB efficiency can be improved by reducing charge transfer resistance, mass transfer resistance, and ohmic overpotentials via modifications in surface chemistry, electrode micro-structure, and conductivity. This project will selectively modify the surface of the porous electrode by adding polymers with desired properties such as wettability and electrical conductivity. We will first characterize the properties of the modified electrode, then determine its effects on RFB efficiency.


Through my SuperUROP project, I want to gain more experience with the research process and apply what I’ve learned in class to a real-world application. I’m excited to learn more about energy storage, flow batteries, and porous media, and hope to find ways to improve electrodes for redox flow batteries.

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