The battery has five times the capacity of a traditional lithium ion battery. It can retain 99 per cent of its charge even after 200 charge cycles
Can a rechargeable battery power your phone for over five days? Or power a car for over 1,000 kilometres and still have enough charge to drive around your neighbourhood?
The good news is that researchers at the University of Monash in Australia have managed to engineer a battery that has five times the capacity of a traditional lithium ion battery. What's more, the battery can retain 99 per cent of its charge even after 200 charge cycles.
The researchers created this super-capacity prototype by re-engineering a Lithium Sulphur (Li-S) battery. Li-S batteries are not new. But they had an intrinsic problem with the sulphur electrode, which would break after repeated charge cycles, making its superior capacity redundant.
The sulphur cathode would break because of expansion and contraction during cycles.
To overcome this problem, the researchers gave the electrodes more space to expand and contract. The electrodes are bound inside the battery using polymers. The research team used lesser quantity of these adhesives so that the electrodes had more spaceout structures inside them.
These structures behaved more like bridges between the sulphur particles rather than a dense network, which stopped the electrodes from disintegrating.
What makes this a good news is that Li-S batteries are many times cheaper than lithium ion batteries that could bring down the cost of electric mobility.
The prototype of these cells have been successfully fabricated by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology. These batteries will be put to trial around the world in 2020.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.