Organic Flow Battery for Energy Storage

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OPEN 2012
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Project Term:
02/01/2013 - 03/25/2017

Technology Description:

Harvard University is developing an innovative grid-scale flow battery to store electricity from renewable sources. Flow batteries store energy in external tanks instead of within the battery container, permitting larger amounts of stored energy at lower cost per kWh. Harvard is designing active material for a flow battery that uses small, inexpensive organic molecules in aqueous electrolyte. Relying on low-cost organic materials, Harvard’s innovative storage device concept would yield one or more systems that may be developed by their partner, Sustainable Innovations, LLC, into viable grid-scale electrical energy storage systems.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Harvard’s organic flow battery design could hold up to 10 times more energy by volume compared to other flow batteries.


A more efficient and reliable grid would be more resilient to potential disruptions.


Electricity generation accounts for over 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Enabling large-scale contributions of wind and solar power for our electricity generation would result in a substantial decrease in CO2 emissions.


Increases in the availability of wind and solar power would reduce fossil fuel demand, resulting in reduced fuel prices and more stable electricity rates.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik
Project Contact:
Mr. Paul Karoff
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Sustainable Energy Solutions

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