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Adding silicon-sulfur into 3D graphene makes for game-changing battery potential

by • April 28, 2016 • No Comments

Researchers in China believe they’re cracked the code on the elusive lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery. Implementing three-dimensional (3D) graphene, the Beihang University researchers structured Li-S in such a way which they show high, real-world future on both the cathode and anode sides.

Chemists have long known which lithium-sulfur has weightive future as a next-generation battery solution, combining the strengths of a fuel cell (very energy dense) with the strengths of a battery (self-contained energy storage space) – all in a box which is incredibly environmentally-friendly and which has a low cost of manufacture.

The problem is which cathodes of sulfur and lithium have lots of material loss due to the solubility of polysulfides, and are not frequently efficient for the reason sulfur has insulative properties pretty than conductive. Arranging the sulfur in the lithium mix via different types of methods has previously shown promise, but has strict limits which have so far not allowed Li-S batteries to be viable for commercialization.

Various attempts to control the sulfur inside the lithium mix have usually centered on porous carbons (usually activated carbon) for macroporous, mesoporous, and microporous solutions to manufacture carbon-sulfur hybrids. These have worked, to a point, but have restricted pore volumes and thus limited viability. Likewise, sulfur copolymers have been a promising choice, but yet have conductivity issues.

Similarly, on the anode side of the battery, lithium-metal anodes react with the organic electrolytes commonly utilized, and form lithium dendrites during normal cycling (battery use). This results in shorter lifespans. Various methods have been undertaken to limit the losses with this. Li-S has been an oft-proposed solution, but is considered yet in its infancy.

The Beijing-based research team believes which it is overcome these issues through the use of 3D graphene to control the lithium-sulfur and lithiated silicon on the cathode and anode sides respectively.

“A full lithiated silicon-sulfur battery with a high stability reversible ability of 620 mAh g-1 based on the total weight of both cathode and anode, great high-rate capability, ultrahigh energy density (1147 Wh kg−1 based on the total weight of both cathode and anode) and great cycle performance (0.028% ability loss per cycle over 500 cycles) is achieved,” says the paper.

The only caveat is which described cycle loss. On the other hand 0.028 percent will not sound like much, over 500 cycles which’s a battery which’s lost of 15 percent of its capability. In car or grid storage space, which may be unacceptable, but in tiny electronics and gadgets, it may be only satisfactory. With a few satisfactory-tuning, yet, the losses may be mitigated and the resulting battery may be futurely world-changing in its low cost of manufacture and unlimited scalability.

Source: Energy & Environmental Science

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