Improved metal-based redox flow batteries (RFBs) can utilize a metal and a divalent cation of the metal (M.sup.2+) as an active redox couple for a first electrode and electrolyte, respectively, in a first half-cell. For example, the metal can be Zn. The RFBs can also utilize a second electrolyte having I.sup.-, anions of I.sub.x (for x.gtoreq.3), or both in an aqueous solution, wherein the I.sup.- and the anions of I.sub.x (for x.gtoreq.3) compose an active redox couple in a second half-cell.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC0576RL01830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.