Whereas lithium-ion’s mid-term future is a given, its long-term future could be threatened by higher energy density and lower cost lithium-sulfur.
At least that’s what researchers at the University of Delaware are hoping after working towards solving the problem of capacity fade in the technology.
The researchers have reportedly found a way of solving the polysulfide shuttle effect, a key issue if the technology is to usurp lithium-ion as the industry’s go to battery.
Led by Bingqing Wei, professor in the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, the team has demonstrated a new polysulfide entrapping strategy that improves the cycle stability of the technology.
Wei said the addition of ferroelectric nanoparticles into the battery cathode anchored the polysulfides, preventing them from dissolving and causing the loss of active materials at the cathode.
He added: “While the mechanism underlying the trapping of polysulfides is unclear at this point, we’re optimistic about the potential of this approach to high-performance lithium-sulfur battery applications, as it not only solves the problem of the polysulfide shuttle effect but also can be seamlessly coupled to current industrial battery manufacturing processes.”
The work was reported in the scientific article “Ferroelectric-Enhanced Polysulfide Trapping for Lithium-Sulfur Battery Improvement” published in Advanced Materials.
Last December BBB reported how lithium-sulfur cell makers Sion Power and UK company Oxis Energy had both reached the coveted 400 Wh/kg goal— opening up the possibilities of longer range electric vehicles.
A consortium of UK companies is also pushing the chemistry forward in a 24-month project to make a ‘deep-dive’ pressure-tolerant lithium-sulfur battery.
The photo is Bingqing Wei, the professor in the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.