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posted by martyb on Monday September 13, @10:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the you'll-get-a-charge-out-of-this dept.

A spoonful of sugar opens a path to longer lasting lithium sulfur batteries:

The Monash team, assisted by CSIRO, report in today's edition of Nature Communications that using a glucose-based additive on the positive electrode they have managed to stabilise lithium-sulfur battery technology, long touted as the basis for the next generation of batteries.

"In less than a decade, this technology could lead to vehicles including electric buses and trucks that can travel from Melbourne to Sydney without recharging. It could also enable innovation in delivery and agricultural drones where light weight is paramount," says lead author Professor Mainak Majumder, from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute.

In theory, lithium-sulfur batteries could store two to five times more energy than lithium-ion batteries of the same weight. The problem has been that, in use the electrodes deteriorated rapidly, and the batteries broke down. There were two reasons for this - the positive sulfur electrode suffered from substantial expansion and contraction weakening it and making it inaccessible to lithium, and the negative lithium electrode became contaminated by sulfur compounds.

Last year the Monash team demonstrated they could open the structure of the sulfur electrode to accommodate expansion and make it more accessible to lithium. Now, by incorporating sugar into the web-like architecture of the electrode they have stabilised the sulfur, preventing it from moving and blanketing the lithium electrode.

Test-cell prototypes constructed by the team have been shown to have a charge-discharge life of at least 1000 cycles, while still holding far more capacity than equivalent lithium-ion batteries. "So each charge lasts longer, extending the battery's life," says first author and PhD student Yingyi Huang. "And manufacturing the batteries doesn't require exotic, toxic, and expensive materials."

Journal Reference:
Yingyi Huang, Mahdokht Shaibani, Tanesh D. Gamot, et al. A saccharide-based binder for efficient polysulfide regulations in Li-S batteries [open], Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-25612-5)


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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @10:14AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @10:14AM (#1177382)

    It starts with a spoonful of sugar and next thing you know you've got a 300 pound lard-ass American. Last thing we need are batteries that need mobility scooters to get around.

    • (Score: 2) by Subsentient on Monday September 13, @03:40PM

      by Subsentient (1111) on Monday September 13, @03:40PM (#1177438) Homepage Journal

      Come now, 300lbs isn't nearly fat enough to require a mobility scooter. Try 400lbs.

      --
      “Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by maxwell demon on Monday September 13, @07:35PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday September 13, @07:35PM (#1177481) Journal

      All the electric car batteries already need a mobility scooter. It's called an electric car.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2) by corey on Monday September 13, @12:11PM (4 children)

    by corey (2202) on Monday September 13, @12:11PM (#1177387)

    Cool, my uni discovered something finally. Stick it up UniMelb always getting all the limelight. ;)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Monday September 13, @01:05PM (3 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 13, @01:05PM (#1177393) Journal

      Monash is pretty good in "life sciences", that was my impression. Am I wrong?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by corey on Monday September 13, @11:34PM

        by corey (2202) on Monday September 13, @11:34PM (#1177541)

        Probably. I think so. I was there last mid 2000s, I’m sure this have changed since then too.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @04:36AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, @04:36AM (#1177607)

        Isn't that like having a "nice personality"?

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday September 14, @04:51AM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @04:51AM (#1177611) Journal

          No, more like "good in what they were doing", or "among the first to think if you want research in life sciences".

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @02:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @02:34PM (#1177425)

    Sweet!

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by looorg on Monday September 13, @02:34PM (3 children)

    by looorg (578) on Monday September 13, @02:34PM (#1177426)

    I always knew the energizer bunny was hopped up on something ... suger-fiend!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @03:08PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @03:08PM (#1177434)

      May I suggest they try putting caffeine in those batteries next?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @03:10PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @03:10PM (#1177435)

        (I would suggest trying out controlled or illegal drugs but the FDA and DEA would never go for that as people would start extracting that stuff and selling it).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @06:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, @06:37PM (#1177461)

          Maybe doctors can start writing a prescription for car batteries and it can be strictly controlled ...

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