Imagine living in a world where you only have to charge your smartphone once a week or drive your electric vehicle 1,000 km on a single charge. Researchers from Monash University could soon make this a reality with their advancements in lithium-sulphur batteries.
Dr. Mahdokht Shaibani from Monash University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and this team of researchers are on the brink of developing the world’s most efficient lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery. Dr. Shaibani claims the battery could outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries by more than four times.
In order to create the new battery, the team of researchers engineered a method that created bonds between particles within the battery to accommodate stress and deliver a level of stability not seen in any other battery to date. However, instead of adding components to the battery, the research team reconfigured the design of sulphur cathodes (hence the name Lithium-sulphur) in such a way that they are able to withstand much higher stress loads without suffering from a drop in performance.
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“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,” said Professor Mainak Majumder from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash University.
Along with the $2.5 million grant, Dr. Shaibani and his team received a patent for the new battery and are scheduled to perform further tests throughout 2020. The team hopes to have a commercialised version of the battery in the near future.
Mathew Hill, an associate professor who worked with the team said, “this approach not only favours high-performance metrics and long cycle life, but is also simple and extremely low-cost to manufacture, using water-based processes, and can lead to significant reductions in environmentally hazardous waste.”