JOHN K. RILEY
Office: 042 Colburn Lab
Phone: (302) 831-6738
De-coupling Electrical and Mechanical Percolation Thresholds in Semi-solid Flow Battery Electrolyte Formulations
An ongoing challenge for integration of wind and solar renewable power sources into the existing electrical grid is a lack of cost-effective large-scale energy storage technologies. Recently developed semi-solid flow batteries (SSFBs) have demonstrated potential to meet low cost and high storage capacity needs, but SSFB efficiency is greatly undermined by strenuous pumping needed to continuously flow the electrolytes, in the form of high-viscosity, non-Newtonian colloidal suspensions, through the battery. Improvements to the rheological properties of SSFB suspension formulations will expand the window for effective battery operation by minimizing hydrodynamic losses and mitigating high pump costs that currently hinder scale-up efforts.
KEVIN J. WHITCOMB
Office: 045 Colburn Lab
Phone: (302) 831-6737
Much of the modern world uses colloidal suspensions in various ways from building materials to food and paint. Highly concentrated colloidal suspensions exhibit shear thickening, a phenomenon in which the suspension becomes more viscous with increasing shear rate. The increased viscosity presents challenges for applications that require these suspension to flow and opportunities such as liquid armor applications. In order to study the mechanism behind the shear thickening phenomenon I use small angle neutron scattering to measure the microstructure of these colloidal suspensions under flow conditions.