, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 4231–4241 | Cite as

Improving the performance of negative electrode for vanadium redox flow battery by decorating bismuth hydrogen edetate complex on carbon felt

  • Bingjun Liu
  • Suqin LiuEmail author
  • Zhen He
  • Kuangmin Zhao
  • Jinchao Li
  • Xianli Wei
  • Rongjiao Huang
  • Yuliang Yang
Original Paper


The inherent disadvantages of untreated carbon felt (pristine-CF) still restrict the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) from further improving in electrochemical performances. To solve this problem, the carbon felt (CF) decorated with bismuth hydrogen edetate (Bi(HEDTA)) complex was synthesized and studied as anode for VRFB. The cyclic voltammetry curve reflects the great improvement in electrochemical reversibility by reducing the peak potential difference from 0.73 to 0.50 V. Electrochemical impedance spectrum shows the better charge transfer process by reducing the charge transfer resistance from 7.14 to 1.13 Ω. The VRFB assembled by the CF modified with Bi(HEDTA) exhibits an energy efficiency of 66.25% at a current density of 160 mA cm−2, which is 11.76% higher than that of the pristine system. Moreover, the mechanism of Bi(HEDTA) involved in the anodic half-reaction of VRFB has been put forward. The results demonstrate that not only the metal but also the ligand of the complex are significant for improving the electrochemical activity of the reaction towards V3+/V2+ redox couple. In more detail, the oxygen-containing functional groups in the ligand could increase the wettability of the CF as well as act as the active sites, and the metal could decrease the evolution of hydrogen at the same time. Therefore, the effective combination of the respective functions of ligand and metal, makes Bi(HEDTA) a feasible ornament of the CF for VRFB.


Vanadium redox flow battery Carbon felt electrode Bi(HEDTA) complex Anodic catalyst Synergistic effect 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan Project (grant no. 2017YFB0903502), the Science and Technology Major Special Project of Hunan Province (grant no. 2016GK1003-1), and the Science and Technology Plan Project of Hunan Province (grant nos. 2017TP1001 and 2016TP1007).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bingjun Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Suqin Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Zhen He
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kuangmin Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jinchao Li
    • 4
  • Xianli Wei
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rongjiao Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yuliang Yang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Chemical Power SourcesCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Efficient and Clean Utilization of Manganese ResourcesCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Materials Science and EngineeringSouthwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangPeople’s Republic of China

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