Lithium-Sulfur Breakthrough Could Mean Safer and More Energy-Dense Batteries

lithium sulfur battery image

Image: ACS, Yang et al.
Theoretical Energy Density: 1550 Wh/KG !
A few months ago I wrote about a battery breakthrough related to silicon nanowire anodes. The researchers said that it showed great promise, but that one of the main challenges to its commercialization was finding a cathode that could handle all this extra power. Well, it looks like that problem has been solved (that was quick!) thanks to a new lithium sulfide (Li2S) cathode with 10 times the power density of conventional lithium-ion cathodes.
lithium sulfur battery image

Image: ACS, Yang et al.
By combining the new cathode with the previously developed silicon anode, the team created a battery with an initial discharge of 630 watt-hours per kilogram of active ingredients. This represents an approximately 80 percent increase in the energy density over commercially available lithium-ion batteries, according to Stanford's Cui, who was a coauthor of a paper describing the work published last month in Nano Letters. Further increases in energy density--as much as four times that of lithium-ion batteries--are theoretically achievable by optimizing the battery's electrodes, Cui says. (source)

But that's not all. This battery would also be "significantly safer" than existing lithium-ion batteries, another benefit if it is to be used in moving vehicles.

Via NanoLetters, GCC
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