Researchers from Monash University have created a new lithium-sulphur battery interlayer that promotes exceptionally fast lithium transfer, also improving the performance and lifetime of the batteries.
This cheaper, greener, and faster lithium-sulphur battery enables the charge and discharge of batteries and discharge of energy at a much faster rate than previously offered, and can be made in Australia.
This latest breakthrough, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, continues the world leading work into lithium development by a team from Monash’s Faculty of Engineering led by Professor Matthew Hill, Dr Mahdokht Shaibani, and Professor Mainak Majumber.
Professor Hill said: “A lithium battery interlayer sits in the middle of the battery and keeps the electrodes apart, it helps lithium get from one side of the battery to the other faster.
“This new interlayer overcomes the slower charge and discharge rates of previous generation lithium-sulphur batteries.”
As the world increasingly swaps fossil fuel power for emissions-free electrification, lithium batteries are becoming a vital storage tool to facilitate the energy transition.
They are the go-to choice to power everything from household devices like mobile phones, laptops, and electric vehicles to major industries such as aviation and marine technology.
Lithium-sulphur batteries offer higher energy density and reduced costs compared to the previous generation of lithium-ion batteries; they can store two-to-five times as much energy by weight than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.
This means a car with one of these batteries might only need to be charged once a week.
Previously, the electrodes in lithium-sulphur batteries deteriorated rapidly and the batteries broke down – the new interlayer delivers high capacity and long-life.
Additionally, lithium-sulphur batteries do not rely on metals like cobalt, nickel, and manganese, which are critical minerals found in lithium-ion batteries.
Hill added: “These batteries are not dependent on minerals that are going to lack supply as the electrification revolution proceeds, so this is another step towards cheaper, cleaner, and higher performing batteries that could be made within Australia.”