The new high-capacity lithium-sulfur batteries can pave way for cheaper electric cars and solar grids
Researchers have developed a new solution that is capable of powering smartphones for five continuous days or electric cars to run over 1,000 km without needing to refuel.
The new battery solution does away with the traditional lithium-ion combination in modern batteries that power devices such as smartwatches, smartphones, and even pacemakers. Instead, researchers used lithium-sulfur batteries to achieve ultra-high capacity.
Researchers at Australia-based Monash University said the team could re-configure the design of sulfur cathodes using the existing materials in standard lithium-ion batteries. The reconfiguration helped researchers achieve higher stress levels without registering any drop in overall capacity or performance.
"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 revolutionise the Australian vehicle market and provide all Australians with a cleaner and more reliable energy market," said Professor Mainak Majumder, who is a part of the research of the group.
"Our research team has received more than $2.5 million in funding from government and international industry partners to trial this battery technology in cars and grids from this year, which we're most excited about," he added.
Dr Mahdokht Shaibani, who led the project, said that the new battery solution may be available commercially in the next two to four years. The team, however, has already bagged a patent for its manufacturing process.
The new battery solution comes at a time when the technology companies are looking for alternatives to the traditional lithium-ion batteries.
IBM Research last month announced developing a battery solution that reduces dependence on heavy metals such as nickel and cobalt.
"Discovered in IBM Research's Battery Lab, this design uses a cobalt and nickel-free cathode material, as well as a safe liquid electrolyte with a high flash point. This unique combination of the cathode and electrolyte demonstrated an ability to suppress lithium metal dendrites during charging, thereby reducing flammability, which is widely considered a significant drawback for the use of lithium metal as an anode material," said IBM in a blog post.