The invention provides a redox flow battery comprising a microporous or nanoporous size-exclusion membrane, wherein one cell of the battery contains a redox-active polymer dissolved in the non-aqueous solvent or a redox-active colloidal particle dispersed in the non-aqueous solvent. The redox flow battery provides enhanced ionic conductivity across the electrolyte separator and reduced redox-active species crossover, thereby improving the performance and enabling widespread utilization. Redox active poly(vinylbenzyl ethylviologen) (RAPs) and redox active colloidal particles (RACs) were prepared and were found to be highly effective redox species. Controlled potential bulk electrolysis indicates that 94-99% of the nominal charge on different RAPs is accessible and the electrolysis products are stable upon cycling. The high concentration attainable (>2.0 M) for RAPs in common non-aqueous battery solvents, their electrochemical and chemical reversibility, and their hindered transport across porous separators make them attractive materials for non-aqueous redox flow batteries based on size-selectivity.
 This invention was made with government support under contract number DE-AC02-06CH11357 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.