Australian scientists from the University of Monasha have developed a new recipe for the manufacture of lithium-sulfur batteries. An experimental cell with a sugar layer provided a capacity of 700 mAh per gram and easily withstood 1000 recharge cycles. The authors are aimed at the automotive industry — in their opinion, lithium-sulfur batteries will allow a trip to the electric car from Melbourne to Sydney (about 880 km) without recharging.
Theoretically lithium-sulfur batteries are much more profitable to widespread lithium-ion elements. According to the calculations of engineers, they can store 2-5 times more energy without using rare and expensive metals. However, such batteries quickly fail. Due to the fact that the positive sulfur electrode of the battery is expanding and compressed during charging cycles-discharge, it is subjected to significant loads and wears. At the same time, the negative electrode creates an additional problem, because it is contaminated with sulfur connections,
Last year, the same team from the University of Monasha partially solved the problem of lithium-sulfur batteries. They developed a special binding agent, which created an additional space around sulfur particles — thus the design got more space for safe expansion during charging. As a result, the team introduced a lithium-sulfur battery of a large capacity, which was able to withstand more than 200 charging cycles and discharge.
Support for 200 cycles is a serious achievement from a scientific point of view, but this is still not enough to commercialize such batteries. Therefore, from January last year, scientists fought with the second main disadvantage of lithium-sulfur batteries — the interaction of the negative electrode with gray. The team drew attention to the fact that the use of sugar in the mesh structure of the electrode stabilizes sulfur and does not allow it to move and cover the lithium electrode.
During the test series, the new component confirmed the viability of the concept. Prototypes of elements developed by scientists have withstood at least 1000 recharge cycles and retained a large capacity than equivalent lithium-ion batteries. At the same time, exotic, toxic or expensive materials were required for the production of these batteries.
«In less than ten years, this technology will lead to the emergence of vehicles, including electrical buses and trucks that can travel from Melbourne to Sydney without recharging,» said the lead author of Majumder Majumder.
The physicist also noted that, in addition to electric vehicles, lithium-sulfur batteries will be useful in the development of drone couriers and agricultural drone. And in the long run, these nutrition elements can be installed in consumer electronics — laptops, tablets, smartphones and smart watches.
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