The researchers filed a patent (PCT / AU 2019/051239) for the manufacturing process of a new type of battery. The prototype cells were successfully manufactured by the German research and development partner Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology.
Some of the world's largest manufacturers of lithium batteries in China and Europe have expressed interest in bringing production to the lithium-sulfur battery. Further testing will take place in Australia in early 2020, fires permitting.
The study has been published in Science Advances yesterday 4 January 2020. It is the first ever research on lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries that will be hosted in this prestigious international magazine.
The teacher Mainak Majumder said this development is a major step forward for the Australian industry and could transform the way phones, computers, vehicles and solar grids will be produced in the future.
Although of capacities lower than amazing aluminum-air batteries, manufacturing and implementation of Li-S batteries will play a significant part in a market valued at 210 billion euros.
"Our research team has received funding of over $ 2,5 million from governments and international industry partners. There is a great desire to experiment with this technology that we are very excited about."Says Majumder.
Using the same materials in ordinary lithium-ion batteries, the researchers reconfigured the design of the sulfur cathodes so that they could withstand higher stress loads without a drop in overall capacity or performance.
Inspired by a unique bridge architecture first recorded in the processing of cleaning powders in the 70s, the team designed a method that created particle bonds to offer a level of stability never seen in any battery.
Lithium-sulfur battery, exceptional performance
Lower production costs. Plenty of raw material. Ease of processing and reduced environmental impact. All qualities that make this new lithium-sulfur battery design very suitable for real world applications.
Expansion-resistant architectures for stable cycles of high-load sulfur cathodes in lithium-sulfur batteries. Mahdokht Shaibani et al.