The acid–base flow battery: Sustainable energy storage via reversible water dissociation with bipolar membranes

Luigi Gurreri, Andrea Culcasi, Alessandro Tamburini, Jan Post, David A. Vermaas, Michele Tedesco, Willem Johannes Van Egmond, Jiajun Cen, Emil Goosen, Ragne Pärnamäe, Michel Saakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing share of renewables in electric grids nowadays causes a growing daily and seasonal mismatch between electricity generation and demand. In this regard, novel energy storage systems need to be developed, to allow large-scale storage of the excess electricity during low-demand time, and its distribution during peak demand time. Acid–base flow battery (ABFB) is a novel and environmentally friendly technology based on the reversible water dissociation by bipolar membranes, and it stores electricity in the form of chemical energy in acid and base solutions. The technology has already been demonstrated at the laboratory scale, and the experimental testing of the first 1 kW pilot plant is currently ongoing. This work aims to describe the current development and the perspectives of the ABFB technology. In particular, we discuss the main technical challenges related to the development of battery components (membranes, electrolyte solutions, and stack design), as well as simulated scenarios, to demonstrate the technology at the kW–MW scale. Finally, we present an economic analysis for a first 100 kW commercial unit and suggest future directions for further technology scale-up and commercial deployment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation

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