Researchers at Australia's Monash University have developed what they're calling "the world's most efficient lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery", an ultra-high-capacity design that could quadruple camera battery life and run a smartphone for 5 consecutive days without a charge.
"Successful fabrication and implementation of Li-S batteries in cars and grids will capture a more significant part of the estimated $213 billion value chain of Australian lithium, and will revolutionize the Australian vehicle market and provide all Australians with a cleaner and more reliable energy market", Majumder said.
According to battery experts The Faraday Institution, the widespread use of lithium-sulfur batteries faces "major hurdles" stemming from sulfur's "insulating nature", and degradation of the metallic lithium anode. Today, most EV use Li-ion batteries, but are slowly reaching their theoretical limits of being able to provide roughly up to 300-watt hour per kilogram of energy.
The process, though not yet widely adopted, means lithium-sulfur batteries do work, and could be manufactured and used on a commercial scale.
Dr Mahdokht Shaibani from the university's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering guided an worldwide team to create an ultra-high capacity lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery that boasts better performance than current lithium-ion (Li-ion) packs. The new research team said it was "on the brink" of commercializing its innovation and highlighted how it could reduce the impact of climate change. Prototype cells for the batteries have been provided by German R&D partners at Fraunhofer Institute.
Imagine being able to leave your bulky power banks and external batteries at home during a music festival or road trip.
Some of the largest makers of lithium batteries in China and Europe have reportedly expressed interest in upscaling production of the battery.
Inspired by unique bridging architecture (first recorded in 1970s detergent powders), the team engineered a method that creates bonds between particles-to accommodate stress and deliver a level of stability not previously seen in any battery. Further testing in cars and solar grids is planned for early 2020, leaving us hopeful that this tech could actually hit the mainstream in the next couple of years. This reconstruction allows the batteries to withstand higher stress loads without a decline in capacity and performance.
Associate professor Matthew Hill, who worked with Dr Shaibani, said the Li-S design offers attractive performance, lower manufacturing costs, abundant materials supply easily of processing and reduced environmental footprint.