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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Secret to Cheaper and Better Lithium-Sulfur Batteries? A Pinch of Sugar - Interesting Engineering

Last updated Tuesday, September 14, 2021 14:37 ET , Source: NewsService

A revolutionary battery breakthrough might allow electric vehicles to travel 545 miles (878 km) from Sydney to Melbourne on a single charge. The modest ingredient that enabled the discovery? A spoonful of sugar.

Simply by adding the "secret" substance, a team of researchers from Monash University has created a lighter and more sustainable rival that lasts longer to lithium-ion batteries, according to a press release by the university.

Today, our electric vehicles and mobiles phones mostly utilize lithium-ion batteries that are made using toxic and exotic materials such as cobalt, nickel, and manganese, which are becoming increasingly scarce across the world. Lithium-sulfur batteries, on the other hand, use cheaper and more abundant materials while holding two to five times more energy per kilogram than lithium-ion ones. However, they degrade rapidly as they are recharged due to the positive sulfur electrode suffering from substantial expansion and contraction weakening it and making it inaccessible to lithium.

This new study shines the light on a potential solution to this problem. The Monash University team has discovered a way of making lithium-sulfur batteries that can be recharged 1,000 times, according to the research published in the journal Nature Communications, and they say the batteries cost substantially less to make than lithium-ion equivalents.

The Monash team had demonstrated last year that they could open the structure of the sulfur electrode to allow for...



Read Full Story: https://interestingengineering.com/the-secret-to-cheaper-and-better-lithium-sulfur-batteries-a-pinch-of-sugar


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