Scientists at Monash University in Australia have developed a new type of battery that the team says is the world’s most efficient lithium-sulfur battery, allowing a smartphone to run for five days in a row. Monash University is preparing to commercialise the battery and says it is more than four times as performed as the market leader.
Lithium-sulfur batteries perform better than current lithium-ion batteries and have less environmental impact than lithium-ion batteries. The team noted that the prototype battery had been successfully manufactured by the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials and Beam Technology, a German research and development partner.
Some of the biggest lithium-ion battery makers in China and Europe have reportedly expressed interest in increasing the production of lithium-sulfur batteries. The first Test will take place in Australia earlier this year. Scientists have seen the application of this battery technology in a variety of environments, including power grids, electric cars and electronics.
In developing the battery, the team used the same material in lithium-ion batteries, but it developed a sulfur cathode design to accommodate high stress loads without reducing capacity or performance. The team noted that this design facilitates high performance and long-cycle use.
A feature of this design is its simplicity of production and very low manufacturing costs, and the manufacturing process is water-based, reducing waste that is harmful to the environment. It’s not clear when the new battery technology will be available for electric cars, but there’s no denying that the prospect of a car that can travel 1,000 kilometers between charges is attractive, and there’s plenty of material available to make it.