- Monash University researchers have developed the world’s
most efficient lithium-sulphur battery, capable of powering a smartphone
for five continuous days.
- Prototype cells have been developed in Germany. Further testing in cars and solar grids to take place in Australia in 2020.
- Researchers have a filed patent on the manufacturing process, and will capture a large share of Australia’s lithium chain.
having access to a battery, which has the potential to power your phone
for five continuous days, or enable an electric vehicle to drive more
than 1000km without needing to “refuel”.
researchers are on the brink of commercialising the world’s most
efficient lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery, which could outperform current
market leaders by more than four times, and power Australia and other
global markets well into the future.
Dr Mahdokht Shaibani from Monash University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
led an international research team that developed an ultra-high
capacity Li-S battery that has better performance and less environmental
impact than current lithium-ion products.
The researchers have an
approved filed patent (PCT/AU 2019/051239) for their manufacturing
process, and prototype cells have been successfully fabricated by German
R&D partners Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology.
of the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium batteries in China and
Europe have expressed interest in upscaling production, with further
testing to take place in Australia in early 2020.
The study was published in Science Advances on Saturday, 4 January 2020 – the first research on Li-S batteries to feature in this prestigious international publication.
Professor Mainak Majumder
said this development was a breakthrough for Australian industry and
could transform the way phones, cars, computers and solar grids are
manufactured in the future.
“Successful fabrication and
implementation of Li-S batteries in cars and grids will capture a more
significant part of the estimated $213 billion value chain of Australian
lithium, and will revolutionise the Australian vehicle market and
provide all Australians with a cleaner and more reliable energy market,”
Professor Majumder said.
“Our research team has received more
than $2.5 million in funding from government and international industry
partners to trial this battery technology in cars and grids from this
year, which we’re most excited about.”
Using the same materials in
standard lithium-ion batteries, researchers reconfigured the design of
sulphur cathodes so they could accommodate higher stress loads without a
drop in overall capacity or performance.
Inspired by unique
bridging architecture first recorded in processing detergent powders in
the 1970s, the team engineered a method that created bonds between
particles to accommodate stress and deliver a level of stability not
seen in any battery to date.
Attractive performance, along with
lower manufacturing costs, abundant supply of material, ease of
processing and reduced environmental footprint make this new battery
design attractive for future real-world applications, according to Associate Professor Matthew Hill.
approach not only favours high performance metrics and long cycle life,
but is also simple and extremely low-cost to manufacture, using
water-based processes, and can lead to significant reductions in
environmentally hazardous waste,” Associate Professor Hill said.
research team comprises: Dr Mahdokht Shaibani, Dr Meysam Sharifzadeh
Mirshekarloo, Dr M.C. Dilusha Cooray and Professor Mainak Majumder
(Monash University); Dr Ruhani Singh, Dr Christopher Easton, Dr Anthony
Hollenkamp (CSIRO) and Associate Professor Matthew Hill (CSIRO and
Monash University); Nicolas Eshraghi (University of Liege); Dr Thomas
Abendroth, Dr Susanne Dorfler, Dr Holger Althues and Professor Stefan
Kaskel (Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology).