New battery technology
With a view to meeting the demands of an electric future, new battery technologies are on the anvil - lithium sulphur batteries, which are more efficient than the traditional lithium ion batteries. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have unveiled a breakthrough, using a catholyte with the help of a graphene sponge.
The researchers' novel idea is a porous, sponge-like aerogel, made of reduced
graphene oxide, that acts as a free-standing electrode in the battery cell.
Lithium sulphur batteries offer higher energy density. The best traditional
battery lithium ion batteries currently on the market operate at about 300
watt-hours per kg, with a theoretical maximum of around 350. Lithium sulphur
batteries meanwhile, have a theoretical energy density of around 1000-1500
watt-hours per kg. Furthermore, sulphur is cheap, highly abundant, and much
more environmentally friendly. Lithium sulphur batteries also have the advantage
of not needing to contain any environmentally harmful fluorine, unlike lithium
ion batteries. A new manufacturing processes will need to be developed to make
the technology commercially viable.