Lithium-sulfur batteries are approaching mass production. A group of researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore have developed a new method for producing cathodes that is simpler than the complex and cumbersome method currently used.
The same researchers believe that this is a promising step towards commercialization and mass production, which is currently still seen as a kind of “chimera” with regard to lithium-sulfur batteries. Researchers at NanoBio Lab (NBL) have developed cathodes for lithium-sulfur batteries using cost-effective materials already available on the market.
Lithium-sulfur batteries have a high energy density compared to lithium-ion batteries and could be a decisive turning point as soon as the design difficulties that occur with cathodes occur, as they could soon replace lithium because they are more efficient. In fact, lithium-sulfur batteries can store ten times more energy than lithium-ion batteries.
The new cathode, which was developed by NBL researchers, has an excellent capacity of up to 1,220 mAh / g. The new cathode can be used in a wide range of applications. This means that a single gram of this material can store 1200 mAh of electrical charge. For comparison, the classic cathode of a lithium-ion battery has a maximum capacity of 140 mAh/g. In addition, this new cathode remains efficient even after 200 charge and discharge cycles of the battery. Especially the repeated charging and discharging of the battery is a problem of lithium-sulfur batteries, a problem that would be overcome with this new cathode.
The new cathode was manufactured with a three-dimensionally interconnected porous nanomaterial that prevents the carbon skeleton from failing when charging the battery. In fact, conventionally produced cathodes collapse during the initial charge and discharge cycle, causing a structural change with a relative reduction in battery performance.
“Our method is industrially scalable and is expected to have a significant impact on the future design of practical lithium sulfur batteries,” says Jackie Y. Ying, a researcher who led the team.
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