Ellen Matson, left, assistant professor of chemistry, and PhD student Lauren VanGelder at work in Matson’s lab. VanGelder is lead author on a paper describing modifications to a redox flow battery that make it nearly twice as effective for electrochemical energy storage. Credit: University of Rochester | Matson Lab

In order to power entire communities with clean energy, such as solar and wind power, a reliable backup storage system is needed to provide energy when the sun isn’t shining and the wind doesn’t blow.

One possibility is to use any excess solar- and wind-based energy to charge solutions of chemicals that can subsequently be stored for use when sunshine and wind are scarce. At that time, the

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