A staff led by Cheong Ying Chan Professor of Engineering and Surroundings Prof. ZHAO Tianshou, Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of HKUST Power Institute, has proposed a novel cathode design idea for lithium–sulfur (Li–S) battery that considerably improves the efficiency of this type of promising next-generation battery.
Li–S batteries are thought to be enticing alternate options to lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries which might be generally utilized in smartphones, electrical automobiles, and drones. They’re recognized for his or her excessive power density whereas their main element, sulfur, is considerable, mild, low-cost, and environmentally benign.
Li–S batteries can probably supply an power density of over 500 Wh/kg, considerably higher than Li-ion batteries that attain their restrict at 300 Wh/kg. The upper power density signifies that the approximate 400km driving vary of an electrical automobile powered by Li-ion batteries may be considerably prolonged to 600-800km if powered by Li–S batteries.
Whereas thrilling outcomes on Li–S batteries have been achieved by researchers worldwide, there’s nonetheless a giant hole between lab analysis and commercialization of the know-how on an industrial scale. One key subject is the polysulfide shuttle impact of Li-S batteries that causes progressive leakage of lively materials from the cathode and lithium corrosion, leading to a brief life cycle for the battery. Different challenges embrace lowering the quantity of electrolyte within the battery whereas sustaining secure battery efficiency.
To handle these points, Prof. Zhao’s staff collaborated with worldwide researchers to suggest a cathode design idea that would obtain good Li–S battery efficiency.
The extremely oriented macroporous host can uniformly accommodate the sulfur whereas considerable lively websites are embedded contained in the host to tightly soak up the polysulfide, eliminating the shuttle impact and lithium metallic corrosion. By mentioning a design precept for sulfur cathode in Li–S batteries, the joint staff elevated the batteries’ power density and made a giant step in direction of the industrialization of the batteries.
“We’re nonetheless in the course of primary analysis on this discipline,” Prof. Zhao stated. “Nevertheless, our novel electrode design idea and the related breakthrough in efficiency signify a giant step in direction of the sensible use of a next-generation battery that’s much more highly effective and longer-lasting than immediately’s lithium-ion batteries.”
Their analysis work was not too long ago revealed in Nature Nanotechnology.
Reference: “A high-energy and long-cycling lithium–sulfur pouch cell through a macroporous catalytic cathode with double-end binding websites” by Chen Zhao, Gui-Liang Xu, Zhou Yu, Leicheng Zhang, Inhui Hwang, Yu-Xue Mo, Yuxun Ren, Lei Cheng, Cheng-Jun Solar, Yang Ren, Xiaobing Zuo, Jun-Tao Li, Shi-Gang Solar, Khalil Amine and Tianshou Zhao, 3 December 2020, Nature Nanotechnology.
Workforce members from HKUST embrace Prof. Zhao and his present PhD college students ZHAO Chen, ZHANG Leicheng, and former PhD scholar REN Yuxun (2019 graduate). Different collaborators embrace researchers from Argonne Nationwide Laboratory and Stanford College within the US, Xiamen College in Mainland China, and Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal College in Saudi Arabia.