The fundamental charge storage mechanisms in a number of currently studied high energy redox couples are based on intercalation, conversion, or displacement reactions. With exception to certain metal-air chemistries, most often the active redox materials are stored physically in the electrochemical cell stack thereby lowering the practical gravimetric and volumetric energy density as a tradeoff to achieve reasonable power density. In a general embodiment, a mediated redox flow battery includes a series of secondary organic molecules that form highly reduced anionic radicals as reaction mediator pairs for the reduction and oxidation of primary high capacity redox species ex situ from the electrochemical cell stack. Arenes are reduced to stable anionic radicals that in turn reduce a primary anode to the charged state. The primary anode is then discharged using a second lower potential (more positive) arene. Compatible separators and solvents are also disclosed herein.
 This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.