New composition of Lithium-Sulphur eliminates life cycle problems, cheaper than Lithium-Ion
While Lithium-Ion batteries don’t have the same “memory effect” properties of NiMH batteries, they are fairly expensive and are host to other problems, such as overheating.
However, researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory have reengineered a plausible replacement for Lithium-Ion thanks to wonder material graphene.
Lithium-sulphur has traditionally had problematic properties, says Green Car Reports:
Normally, lithium polysulfide particles dissolve in the electrolyte during discharging and react with the lithium anode, forming a barrier layer. The conversion reaction under charging and discharging can also cause the sulfur electrode to swell and contract, causing damage.
This has created life cycle problems for Lithium-Sulphur. However, by using a sulphur-graphene oxide cathode, its flexibility prevents damage during the above mentioned expansion and contraction. Also, the addition of a new ionic liquid electrolyte prevents dissolution of lithium polysulphide particles, improving charge and discharge rates.
Lithium-Sulphur has a strong potential to be cheaper and safer than current Lithium-Ion batteries while also providing twice the specific energy.