IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Recent development of membrane for vanadium redox flow battery applications: A review


  • Shi, Yu
  • Eze, Chika
  • Xiong, Binyu
  • He, Weidong
  • Zhang, Han
  • Lim, T.M.
  • Ukil, A.
  • Zhao, Jiyun


Responding to rapid growth of the renewable energy applications, it is crucial to develop low cost and high efficient large-scale energy storage systems in order to smooth out the intermittency of the renewable energy resources. As one of the most promising large-scale energy storage systems, vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) has attracted great attention in recent times. Membrane is one of the key components of VRFB which not only affects the whole cyclability performance but also determines the economic viability of the system. The membrane separates the positive and negative half-cells and prevents the cross-mixing of vanadium ions while providing required ionic conductivity. The ideal membrane should have good ionic exchange capacity; high ionic conductivity, low water uptake, swelling ratio, area electrical resistance and vanadium and other poly-halide ions permeability; and good chemical stability, as well as low cost. Numerous efforts have been spent on the development of different types of membranes, including different functional groups ion exchange membrane and non-ionic porous membrane. This paper reviews the research on membranes in VRFB system, including the properties, development of traditional commercial membranes as well as recently developed membranes. It explores various methods of fabrication of the membrane products which have received relatively little attention. A detailed summary table of the new membranes with their properties, fabrication and costs is provided to serve as a reference guide for researchers and industrialists interested in VRFB system building and dynamic modelling set. Subsequently, the challenges and future directions of membrane research are examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Shi, Yu & Eze, Chika & Xiong, Binyu & He, Weidong & Zhang, Han & Lim, T.M. & Ukil, A. & Zhao, Jiyun, 2019. "Recent development of membrane for vanadium redox flow battery applications: A review," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 238(C), pages 202-224.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:238:y:2019:i:c:p:202-224
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.12.087

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pugach, M. & Kondratenko, M. & Briola, S. & Bischi, A., 2018. "Zero dimensional dynamic model of vanadium redox flow battery cell incorporating all modes of vanadium ions crossover," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 226(C), pages 560-569.
    2. Messaggi, M. & Canzi, P. & Mereu, R. & Baricci, A. & Inzoli, F. & Casalegno, A. & Zago, M., 2018. "Analysis of flow field design on vanadium redox flow battery performance: Development of 3D computational fluid dynamic model and experimental validation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 228(C), pages 1057-1070.
    3. Guarnieri, Massimo & Trovò, Andrea & D'Anzi, Angelo & Alotto, Piergiorgio, 2018. "Developing vanadium redox flow technology on a 9-kW 26-kWh industrial scale test facility: Design review and early experiments," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 230(C), pages 1425-1434.
    4. Zhang, Yunong & Liu, Le & Xi, Jingyu & Wu, Zenghua & Qiu, Xinping, 2017. "The benefits and limitations of electrolyte mixing in vanadium flow batteries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 373-381.
    5. Cunha, Álvaro & Brito, F.P. & Martins, Jorge & Rodrigues, Nuno & Monteiro, Vitor & Afonso, João L. & Ferreira, Paula, 2016. "Assessment of the use of vanadium redox flow batteries for energy storage and fast charging of electric vehicles in gas stations," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 115(P2), pages 1478-1494.
    6. Zeng, L. & Zhao, T.S. & Wei, L. & Jiang, H.R. & Wu, M.C., 2019. "Anion exchange membranes for aqueous acid-based redox flow batteries: Current status and challenges," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 233, pages 622-643.
    7. Arbabzadeh, Maryam & Johnson, Jeremiah X. & De Kleine, Robert & Keoleian, Gregory A., 2015. "Vanadium redox flow batteries to reach greenhouse gas emissions targets in an off-grid configuration," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 397-408.
    8. Jiang, H.R. & Shyy, W. & Ren, Y.X. & Zhang, R.H. & Zhao, T.S., 2019. "A room-temperature activated graphite felt as the cost-effective, highly active and stable electrode for vanadium redox flow batteries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 233, pages 544-553.
    9. Wei, Zhongbao & Zhao, Jiyun & Ji, Dongxu & Tseng, King Jet, 2017. "A multi-timescale estimator for battery state of charge and capacity dual estimation based on an online identified model," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 1264-1274.
    10. Lei, Y. & Zhang, B.W. & Zhang, Z.H. & Bai, B.F. & Zhao, T.S., 2018. "An improved model of ion selective adsorption in membrane and its application in vanadium redox flow batteries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 215(C), pages 591-601.
    11. Wei, Zhongbao & Zhao, Jiyun & Xiong, Binyu, 2014. "Dynamic electro-thermal modeling of all-vanadium redox flow battery with forced cooling strategies," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 1-10.
    12. Choi, Chanyong & Kim, Soohyun & Kim, Riyul & Choi, Yunsuk & Kim, Soowhan & Jung, Ho-young & Yang, Jung Hoon & Kim, Hee-Tak, 2017. "A review of vanadium electrolytes for vanadium redox flow batteries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 263-274.
    13. Jiang, H.R. & Shyy, W. & Wu, M.C. & Zhang, R.H. & Zhao, T.S., 2019. "A bi-porous graphite felt electrode with enhanced surface area and catalytic activity for vanadium redox flow batteries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 233, pages 105-113.
    14. Mendoza-Vizcaino, Javier & Raza, Muhammad & Sumper, Andreas & Díaz-González, Francisco & Galceran-Arellano, Samuel, 2019. "Integral approach to energy planning and electric grid assessment in a renewable energy technology integration for a 50/50 target applied to a small island," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 233, pages 524-543.
    15. Zheng, Qiong & Li, Xianfeng & Cheng, Yuanhui & Ning, Guiling & Xing, Feng & Zhang, Huamin, 2014. "Development and perspective in vanadium flow battery modeling," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 254-266.
    16. Das, Choton K. & Bass, Octavian & Kothapalli, Ganesh & Mahmoud, Thair S. & Habibi, Daryoush, 2018. "Optimal placement of distributed energy storage systems in distribution networks using artificial bee colony algorithm," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 212-228.
    17. Zhou, X.L. & Zhao, T.S. & An, L. & Zeng, Y.K. & Zhu, X.B., 2016. "Performance of a vanadium redox flow battery with a VANADion membrane," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 353-359.
    18. Zhang, Yang & Campana, Pietro Elia & Yang, Ying & Stridh, Bengt & Lundblad, Anders & Yan, Jinyue, 2018. "Energy flexibility from the consumer: Integrating local electricity and heat supplies in a building," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 223(C), pages 430-442.
    19. Liu, Le & Li, Zhaohua & Xi, Jingyu & Zhou, Haipeng & Wu, Zenghua & Qiu, Xinping, 2017. "Rapid detection of the positive side reactions in vanadium flow batteries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P1), pages 452-462.
    20. Wang, Shancheng & Owusu, Kwadwo Asare & Mai, Liqiang & Ke, Yujie & Zhou, Yang & Hu, Peng & Magdassi, Shlomo & Long, Yi, 2018. "Vanadium dioxide for energy conservation and energy storage applications: Synthesis and performance improvement," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 200-217.
    21. Zhu, Kai & Li, Xueqiang & Campana, Pietro Elia & Li, Hailong & Yan, Jinyue, 2018. "Techno-economic feasibility of integrating energy storage systems in refrigerated warehouses," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 216(C), pages 348-357.
    22. Jannesar, Mohammad Rasol & Sedighi, Alireza & Savaghebi, Mehdi & Guerrero, Josep M., 2018. "Optimal placement, sizing, and daily charge/discharge of battery energy storage in low voltage distribution network with high photovoltaic penetration," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 226(C), pages 957-966.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Shujuan Meng & Binyu Xiong & Tuti Mariana Lim, 2019. "Model-Based Condition Monitoring of a Vanadium Redox Flow Battery," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(15), pages 1-16, August.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:238:y:2019:i:c:p:202-224. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.