New electrolyte makes lithium sulfur batteries safe and durable
Otis Energy has developed a stable and durable lithium-sulfur battery with double the capacity of existing lithium-ion batteries..
Lithium sulfur batteries have been around since the 1960s and are well known for their high energy density and low cost. Their main disadvantage is that lithium polysulfides dissolve well in the electrolytes used., because of what the cathode melts quickly enough.
Researchers at Otis Energy claim to have developed a safe, non-flammable electrolyte that retains metallic lithium for much longer. This extends the battery life up to 250 charge / discharge cycles, and within two years, engineers plan to increase this figure to 500 cycles, which is the average level of modern lithium-ion batteries.
In addition, the team used in their design a passivating layer of ceramic lithium sulfide, which blocks the flow of electricity preventing overheating, sudden discharge and gradual loss of energy during idle time.
The created battery has an energy capacity of more than 500 Wh / kg, which is much better than that of modern commercial lithium-ion batteries..
Otis Energy has already signed a contract with the aviation company Bye Aerospace, which will use developed lithium-sulfur batteries in their small electric aircraft. According to the designers, this will increase the flight range by 50-100%, by reducing the mass of energy storage.
Lithium-sulfur batteries: a game changer for aerospace, defense and automotive?
If the joint project is successful, the companies will consider the prospects for the electrification of aircraft for regional transportation..
Due to limited lithium reserves, researchers around the world are looking for effective alternatives from more common cells, and recently Skoltech developed high-power potassium batteries that charge in 10 seconds..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Otis Energy