A battery that can potentially power smartphones continuously for five days, or allow an electric vehicle to travel over 1000 km without having to "refuel" may seem too good to be true.
Researchers from Australia have claimed that they have developed the world's most efficient lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery, capable of powering a smartphone for five continuous days - the equivalent of an electric vehicle being able to drive a distance of over 1,000 km.
Monash University researchers are "on the brink" of leading lithium-sulfur batteries to commercialization. The only limiting factor of the "greener" substitute of batteries is that they have a far shorter lifespan. It also uses the same materials found in a lithium-ion battery, which bodes well for quickly shifting manufacturing over to produce the new design.
It might take some time before lithium-sulfur batteries will reach the commercial market, but the progress sounds more and more promising.
Researchers at Australia's Monash University have developed the world's most efficient lithium-sulphur battery that could make low smartphone battery a thing of the past. On the other hand, the team in Australia have reconfigured the design of sulphur cathodes so that they are able to withstand higher stress loads without declining the overall performance.
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The global effort was led by Dr Mahdokht Shaibani of the university's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with team members from the University of Liege in Belgium and Dresden, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology.
Professor Mainak Majumder said this development was a breakthrough for Australian industry and could transform the way phones, cars, computers and solar grids are manufactured in the future.
As a result the new Li-S design seems to offer the best of all worlds: boasting four-times the performance of the best Li-Ion batteries on the market while significantly decreasing the environmental impact of manufacturing.
Inspired by unique bridging architecture first recorded in processing detergent powders in the 1970s, the team engineered a method that created bonds between particles to accommodate stress and deliver a level of stability not seen in any battery to date. Using water-based processes for manufacturing will lead to significant reductions in environmentally hazardous waste production compared to traditional battery production.
The group, whose work received funding from the Australian government, has patented the new battery and further testing is scheduled for later this year.