Steven  Collins

Steven Collins

Scholar Title

MIT SoE — Lord Foundation Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Investigation of Performance-Limiting Factors for Organic Redox Flow Batteries




Fikile Brushett


Grid energy storage systems can facilitate the adoption of renewable energy, but can often be very costly. One potentially inexpensive technology is an organic redox flow battery (RFB), which relies on electroactive organic species such as quinones. This project will investigate the performance limiting factors of one such organic RFB that utilizes AQDS and Tiron. I will investigate the optimal pH and flow rate conditions of the cell redox couples, to increase the overall energetic efficiency of the battery. I will also use spectroscopic methods to investigate Tiron degradation to suggest means of mitigating its diminishing energy storage capacity over time. The aim is to develop an RFB that is able to meet the US Dept. of Energy guidelines for cost-effective energy storage systems.


I was first exposed to flow batteries and electrochemical systems in the Brushett Lab while taking 10.27, in which my project focused on enhancing lead-acid flow batteries. My previous research projects and coursework have also given me experience in electrochemistry, transport phenomena, and spectroscopy. I am excited to apply this knowledge to help advance energy storage research this year.

Back to Scholars