Imide-Based Multielectron Anolytes as High-Performance Materials in Nonaqueous Redox Flow Batteries

Nicolas Daub, René A.J. Janssen (Corresponding author), Koen H. Hendriks (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent developments toward high-energy-density all-organic redox flow batteries suggest the advantageous use of molecules exhibiting multielectron redox events. Following this approach, organic anolytes are developed that feature multiple consecutive one-electron reductions. These anolytes are based on N-methylphthalimide, which exhibits a single reversible reduction at a low potential with good cycling stability. Derivatives with two or three imide groups were synthesized to enable multielectron reduction events. By incorporating suitably designed side chains, a volumetric capacity of 65 Ah/L is achieved in electrolyte solutions. Bulk-electrolysis experiments and UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy revealed good cycling stability for the first and second reduction of monoamides and diimides, respectively, but a loss of stability for the third reduction of triimides. We identify N-2-pentyl-N′-2-(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy)ethylaminepyromellitic diimide as a very promising multielectron anolyte with an excellent volumetric capacity and superior cycling and shelf-life stability compared to monoimides and triimides. The outstanding performance of this anolyte was demonstrated in proof-of-principle redox flow batteries that reach an energy density of 24.1 Wh/L.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9248-9257
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) (016.VENI.182.006 and Spinoza prize), and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Gravity program 024.001.035).

Publisher Copyright:


  • anolyte
  • high energy density
  • imide
  • multielectron
  • nonaqueous redox flow battery


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