Organic flow battery technology

Our organic redox flow battery is the first truly green battery technology that’s ready to scale. Learn about the basic principles and explore the benefits.

We make the battery the world’s been waiting for

The renewable energy transition needs powerful, scalable and affordable energy storage systems that do not harm people and nature. However, current options have been plagued with high cost, safety issues, environmental and social concerns. They are based on scarce resources that are extracted under ethically and ecologically questionable conditions with high energy consumption and transported around the world via long supply chains. Due to the rapidly increasing demand for batteries in the field of electromobility, there are going to be dramatic bottlenecks in the availability of these materials. For numerous applications, the flammability of existing battery systems is another major problem.CMBlu’s organic redox flow battery is different – and it is a first of its kind to be commercialized. Our technology is based on fully recyclable organic materials that are available all over the world. The aqueous electrolytes solutions are non-flammable and ensure an absolutely safe and reliable operation. Compared to previously established battery systems, our organic flow batteries are characterized by free scalability between power and capacity. They can therefore be adapted precisely to the individual requirements of the respective application with corresponding cost advantages. The system-inherent separation of the electrolyte and the actual energy converter not only avoids self-discharge, but also enables the original performance to be restored by simply replacing individual components instead of the entire battery.

A clean and renewable energy future demands radical new concepts for energy storage. This truly green organic redox flow battery disrupts the energy storage market to accelerate the transition and to meet climate goals sooner.

5 facts about our organic batteries

Their unique chemistry and design make our organic flow batteries ideally positioned to support the global energy transition. Here’s why they are a sound solution for business, society and the planet. 

  • Ultra-scalable 

    Separate tanks and stacks make it possible to scale power and capacity independently, for highly customizable bulk storage units. 

  • Affordable

    Our technology relies on abundant, low-cost carbon-based molecules, promoting a robust, and environmentally and socially responsible supply chain.

  • Safe

    All of our battery components are free of critical, flammable or explosive materials and thus safe to be sited where they are needed.

  • Long-lasting 

    Carbon-based electrolytes have been engineered for a long lifetime and can be maintained to ensure a very high cycle life of the battery and to meet the expectations of demanding applications. 

  • Recycable

    Organic electrolytes can be fully recycled and reused to avoid millions of tons of waste that are present in lithium-ion based system. 

What is an organic redox flow battery?

Redox flow batteries are batteries that store electrical energy in liquid electrolytes, unlike the solid electrodes of lithium-ion batteries. Those electrolytes are stored in external tanks. During charging and discharging, they are pumped through the battery power stacks in a constant “flow”. 

Former redox flow batteries use metals. Our organic flow batteries take a novel approach: Instead of metal ions, an organic redox flow battery uses carbon-based molecules for its electrolytes.
Why carbon? It’s simple. Certain carbon-based molecules have the intrinsic ability to be oxidized and reduced, or charged and  discharged. They are the essential element in “redox” reactions that have been powering all living cells, for billions of years. Nature had a choice to use metal or organic molecules to store and release energy. It chose organic. So are we.

Using organic electrolytes makes our redox flow batteries into a more efficient, long-lasting and sustainable electricity storage technology. Besides innovative electrolytes, our organic batteries also feature a uniquely scalable design. The result: a high-performance organic flow battery that’s built for bulk storage applications. 

How organic flow batteries work

Our redox flow batteries are a combination of innovative biochemistry and smart engineering. Get an inside glimpse at how they work.

The organic flow stack – the power unit

Our organic battery stacks consist of serially connected half cells with the following components. 

  • Electrodes

    Material and surface of the electrodes as well as the kinetics of the redox process at the electrode surface determine the performance of the battery.

  • Membranes

    Selectively allow ion migration to enable charge equalization but prevent electrolytes from commingling.

  • Current Collectors

    Connect the stack to the grid

Energy converter stacks are at the heart of our modular redox flow battery technology. Both reduction and oxidation, the core electrochemical processes, take place in these stacks, although physically separate from each other. The battery output depends on the material and surface area of the electrodes, as well as the kinetics of the redox process. Increasing the stack size yields a higher output.

Organic flow batteries versus lithium-ion and hydrogen 

Compared to lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen batteries, our organic flow batteries are the ideal solution for large-scale, multi-hour energy storage. They offer superior efficiency and safety and low maintenance.

CMBlu organic flow batteries

Lithium-ion

Hydrogen

Applications

Large stationary electricity storage

Mobile applications, electric vehicles, small and mid-size electricity storage

Long-term to seasonal energy storage 

Cycle life

Potentially unlimited with proper maintenance

~ 3,000 charging cycles

Not applicable 

Efficiency

~ 90%

~ 90%

~ 40%

Battery capacity

Up to the GWh range

Multi MWh range 

Seasonal storage up to the TWh range

Safety

check icon High. Neither flammable nor explosive materials

Error icon Limited. Substantial effort required to ensure safe operation. 

Error icon Limited. Substantial effort required to ensure safe operation.

Absence of critical or rare materials

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Where organic flow batteries are used

Organic flow batteries are easily adaptable to the requirements of different sectors. 

Renewable power generation

Renewables like solar or wind parks generate power intermittently and need large-scale energy storage solutions.

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  • Renewable power generation

  • Industrial sites

  • EV charging infrastructure

  • Microgrids / Off-grid

  • Transmission and distribution

  • Maritime