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Simplification of Lithium-Sulfur Battery Production for Future Energy Storage Needs

Scientists from NanoBio Lab (NBL) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore developed a novel approach to prepare next-generation lithium-sulfur cathodes.

Researchers from the NBL have demonstrated a new method of producing lithium-sulfur cathodes, simplifying the normally time-consuming and complicated process. This represents a promising step towards the commercialization of lithium-sulfur batterires, and addresses industry’s need for a practical approach towards scaling up the production of new materials that improve battery performance.

In theory, lithium-sulfur batteries are capable of storing up to 10 times more energy than lithium-ion ones, however the need for it to be charged repeatedly makes it unsustainable.

The next-generation lithium-sulfur cathodes was shown to hold a charge of 1,220 mAh per gram of battery as compared to a charge of 140 mAh per gram of a typical lithium-ion cathode.

The researchers built a carbon host before adding the sulfur source to obtain a 3D interconnected porous nanomaterial. This prevents the carbon scaffold form collapsing when the battery is charged.

“We have shown that the preparation technique of sulfur cathodes has a strong influence on the electrochemical performance in lithium-sulfur batteries,” said Professor Jackie Y. Ying, who leads the NBL research team. “Our method is industrially scalable, and we anticipate that it would have a significant impact on the future design of practical lithium-sulfur batteries.”

The NBL researchers are working towards designing and optimizing the whole system including the cathode, anode, separator, and electrolyte using nanomaterials engineering. With the end goal of developing a full cell system for the lithium-sulfur battery to be applied to electronic devices such as electric vehicles and grid energy storage. [APBN]