Battery Concepts in Physical Chemistry: Making Your Own Organic–Inorganic Battery

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On the basis of recent advances in battery research and technology, we have developed a novel laboratory exercise centered on an organic–inorganic battery using the redox chemistry of the organic molecule anthraquinone-2,7-disulfonic acid disodium salt (AQDS). Although most commercially available batteries are based on inorganic redox couples, the development of batteries based on organic redox active materials has great potential for stationary energy storage. As such, the experiment described in this report exposes students to state-of-the-art battery technology, despite a rather simple experimental protocol. The exercise allows students to acquire hands-on learning and visualize central concepts of the Nernst equation, battery technology and components, half-cell reactions, charging/discharging tests, and performance analysis. Additionally, students are required to operate a range of key electronic instruments, including multimeters, power supplies, and electronic loads. This laboratory exercise is part of a third semester undergraduate course in physical chemistry and can be completed in a single laboratory session. Student feedback shows that the experimental work, coupled with a written report, significantly broadens student understanding of the electrochemistry of batteries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Pages (from-to)1465-1471
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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