An accidental discovery that greatly improved the batteries

Some of the most revolutionary technologies are the result of accidental discoveries. Penicillin X-rays and microwaves are prominent.

Now, another unexpected discovery has been made about lithium -sulfur batteries.

For decades, efforts have been made to find the energy needed for carbon-neutral technologies, such as modern living and electric cars.

Lithium-ion batteries and today

Lithium-ion battery technology has been used since the early 1990s.

This battery technology can be used on mobile phones, tablets and tablets. It is used in everything from Tesla electric cars to satellites.

Purified Cobalt
Purified Cobalt Image: Courtesy of Alchemist-hp / Wikimedia Commons

However, metals such as cobalt are needed to build these batteries, which can damage the environment and damage the ecosystem.

Due to the power requirements of current devices, our phones and cars need to be recharged quickly and repeatedly, causing the problem of expiring lithium-ion batteries too quickly.

Battery life is a serious concern in the electric EV world, and if an EV is used and the battery is bad, it will cost a fortune to replace it.

In addition, waste batteries can somehow harm the environment.

Lithium-ion batteries are compact and heavy, limiting the range of electric vehicles.

Similarly, the Rimac EV and Samsung Note 7 have proven that the damaged cells of these batteries can catch fire.

lithium-sulfur battery

That’s why researchers at Drexel University are working on a battery known as lithium-sulfur.

The battery was expected to solve the existing problems with the lithium-ion battery, making it more cost-effective to produce. It can store 3 times more energy and has very little damage to the ecosystem.

However, its main drawback is that it does not last as long as lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries, for example, can be recharged up to 2,000 times, but lithium-sulfur batteries are only half full and may expire after one or two years of use.

To address this, a team from the University of Drexel modified compounds from the cathode in the battery to reduce the polysulfides produced by the reaction during battery charging and use.

This is because polysulfides emit sulfur from the electrode and significantly reduce performance, which can reduce battery life and increase battery life.

Lyten's lithium-sulfur battery
Lyten’s lithium-sulfur battery Image: Courtesy of Lyten

Unexpected discovery

During the test, something unexpected happened and the reaction of Sulfur basically stopped the battery life.

This process, known as monoclinic gamma-phase sulfur, was previously tested at a high laboratory temperature of 95 ° C (203 ° F) and is now being discovered at room temperature for the first time.

The researchers found that polysulfides were completely stopped during this chemical process, and that the battery life did not decrease after 4,000 charges.

As a result of this discovery, lithium-sulfur batteries will last at least twice as long as current lithium-ion batteries, be three times lighter, and charge faster.

It can be doubled in lifespan and three times lighter in weight. There will be big changes in the aircraft and ships sector.

Lithium Due to the abundance of sulfur and other minerals in the production of batteries around the world, it is less harmful to the environment and less expensive.

Sulfur
Sulfur Image: Courtesy of Ivar Leidus / Wikimedia Commons

Another new technology

The search for new battery technology does not stop there.

A team from the University of Drexel is working to test this success by testing sodium-sulfur batteries.

Lithium can be removed from batteries to reduce costs and meet current supply needs.