Organic Batteries

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Organic batteries, also known as redox flow batteries or organic radical batteries, are a type of rechargeable battery technology that utilizes organic molecules as the active materials in the electrolyte. These batteries offer several potential advantages, including sustainability, environmental friendliness, and the potential for low cost and high scalability.

Impact on climate action

Organic Batteries in the Battery Storage domain advance climate action by offering sustainable energy storage solutions. By utilizing organic materials, these batteries reduce reliance on rare earth metals, lower environmental impact, and promote circularity. This innovation accelerates the transition to renewable energy, mitigating carbon emissions and combating climate change.


  • Redox-Active Organic Molecules: Organic batteries use organic molecules that can undergo reversible oxidation and reduction reactions to store and release energy. These molecules are typically dissolved in a liquid electrolyte, which flows through an electrochemical cell.
  • Electrochemical Cell: The electrochemical cell consists of two electrodes separated by a membrane. The redox-active molecules in the electrolyte undergo reactions at the electrodes, generating an electric current during discharge and vice versa during charging.
  • Flow Battery Design: Organic batteries often utilize a flow battery design, where the electrolyte is stored in external tanks and pumped through the electrochemical cell. This allows for independent scaling of energy capacity and power output, making them highly scalable and adaptable to different energy storage needs.

TRL : 4-5

Prominent Innovation themes

  • High-Performance Redox-Active Molecules: Researchers are developing new organic molecules with higher redox potentials, improved stability, and faster reaction kinetics to enhance the performance of organic batteries.
  • Sustainable and Biodegradable Materials: Organic batteries have the potential to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional batteries, as they can be made from renewable and biodegradable materials.
  • Aqueous Electrolytes: Some organic batteries use water-based electrolytes, which are safer and more environmentally friendly than organic solvents.
  • Redox-Active Polymers: Redox-active polymers are being explored as electrode materials in organic batteries, offering the potential for higher energy densities and improved cycle life.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Enhanced Electrolyte Formulations
  • Sustainable Electrode Materials
  • Advanced Electrochemical Cell Designs
  • Biocompatible Redox-Active Molecules
  • Scalable Flow Battery Architectures
  • Efficient Redox Reaction Kinetics
  • Tailored Electrolyte Solutions
  • Next-Generation Membrane Technologies
  • Integration with Renewable Energy Systems
  • Biodegradable Battery Components
  • Novel Redox-Active Polymer Composites
  • Smart Grid Integration Solutions
  • Energy Density Optimization Strategies
  • Cost-Effective Manufacturing Processes
  • Robust Cycle Life Enhancements
  • Safety and Environmental Standards Compliance
  • Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Battery Systems
  • Grid-Scale Deployment Solutions

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. CMBlu Energy:
    • Technology Enhancement: CMBlu Energy focuses on the development of organic flow batteries for energy storage applications. Their batteries use organic electrolytes and redox-active organic molecules to store and release energy, offering a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional battery chemistries. CMBlu’s flow battery technology enables long-duration energy storage, grid stabilization, and renewable energy integration.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: CMBlu Energy stands out for its innovative approach to energy storage using organic materials. Their flow batteries offer advantages such as scalability, modularity, and high cycling stability, making them suitable for stationary energy storage applications in grid-connected and off-grid environments. Additionally, their focus on organic materials aligns with sustainability goals and promotes the transition to a circular economy.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: CMBlu Energy serves utilities, renewable energy developers, and industrial customers seeking cost-effective and sustainable energy storage solutions. Their organic flow batteries are deployed in grid-scale energy storage projects, microgrids, and remote electrification initiatives, providing reliable and flexible energy storage capabilities.
  2. Volterion:
    • Technology Enhancement: Volterion specializes in the development of organic redox flow batteries for energy storage applications. Their batteries utilize organic electrolytes and redox-active organic compounds to store and release energy, enabling long-duration energy storage with high efficiency and cycling stability. Volterion’s flow battery technology offers advantages such as scalability, safety, and environmental sustainability.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Volterion stands out for its expertise in organic flow battery technology and its focus on delivering reliable and cost-effective energy storage solutions. Their systems are designed to address the challenges of renewable energy integration, grid stabilization, and peak shaving, providing grid operators and end-users with flexible and sustainable energy storage options.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Volterion serves utility companies, commercial and industrial customers, and renewable energy developers seeking energy storage solutions for grid support, demand management, and backup power applications. Their organic flow batteries are deployed in a wide range of settings, including renewable energy projects, microgrids, and remote communities, enhancing energy reliability and resilience.
  3. CellCube Energy Storage Systems:
    • Technology Enhancement: CellCube Energy Storage Systems specializes in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) for energy storage applications. While not strictly organic, VRFBs utilize vanadium-based electrolytes, which are environmentally benign and offer advantages such as long cycle life, rapid response times, and high efficiency. CellCube’s VRFB technology provides scalable and modular energy storage solutions for grid-scale and distributed energy storage applications.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: CellCube Energy Storage Systems stands out for its focus on vanadium redox flow battery technology and its proven track record in delivering reliable energy storage solutions. Their VRFB systems offer advantages such as high energy efficiency, long cycle life, and minimal environmental impact, making them suitable for a wide range of energy storage applications.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: CellCube serves utilities, renewable energy developers, and commercial and industrial customers seeking energy storage solutions for grid stabilization, renewable energy integration, and peak shaving. Their VRFB systems are deployed in utility-scale energy storage projects, microgrids, and remote communities, providing reliable and sustainable energy storage capabilities.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. Harvard University:
    • Research Focus: Harvard University is at the forefront of research on Organic Batteries, focusing on the development of novel organic materials and electrode architectures for energy storage applications.
    • Uniqueness: Their research explores the synthesis and characterization of organic molecules, polymers, and redox-active materials with tunable electrochemical properties and high energy density. They investigate the mechanisms of charge storage, ion transport, and redox reactions in organic electrodes to improve cycling stability, capacity retention, and overall performance.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in portable electronics, grid-scale energy storage, and electric vehicles. By developing lightweight, flexible, and environmentally sustainable organic batteries, Harvard’s research contributes to advancing energy storage technologies and enabling the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources.
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Research Focus: MIT conducts pioneering research on Organic Batteries, leveraging its expertise in materials science, electrochemistry, and device engineering to develop high-performance and cost-effective energy storage solutions.
    • Uniqueness: Their research spans the design and synthesis of organic electrode materials, electrolytes, and interfaces tailored for specific battery chemistries and applications. They explore advanced manufacturing techniques, electrode architectures, and cell designs to enhance energy density, rate capability, and cycle life of organic-based battery systems.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in off-grid electrification, renewable energy integration, and portable electronics. By pushing the boundaries of organic battery technology, MIT’s research aims to address the growing demand for safe, sustainable, and scalable energy storage solutions in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
  3. University of California, Berkeley:
    • Research Focus: UC Berkeley is engaged in innovative research on Organic Batteries, focusing on the development of bio-inspired and biodegradable materials for next-generation energy storage devices.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the design and synthesis of organic polymers, carbonaceous materials, and natural extracts as active components in battery electrodes and electrolytes. They investigate the interplay between molecular structure, morphology, and electrochemical performance to optimize energy storage capacity, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in wearable electronics, medical implants, and sustainable energy systems. By leveraging organic materials for energy storage, UC Berkeley’s research aims to address the need for lightweight, biocompatible, and eco-friendly battery technologies to power the next generation of electronic devices and renewable energy infrastructure.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Organic batteries are still in the early stages of commercialization, with limited availability of commercial products. However, several companies and research institutions are actively developing and testing prototypes, and the technology is expected to become more commercially viable in the coming years.