“…sulfur cathode is a lot cheaper than the lithium-based cathode normally used in a lithium-ion battery. Sulfur, by virtue of being a byproduct of petroleum processing, is almost free.
The problem with conventional lithium-sulfur battery chemistry, though, is that the liquid electrolyte — which is present in just about every commercial battery chemistry — essentially burns through the sulfur cathode, resulting in a battery that’s only good for a few charge-discharge cycles. The scientists at ORNL have solved this problem in two ways: They’ve developed a new, more-rugged sulfur-based material for the cathode — and they’ve also introduced a solid electrolyte, further reducing the wear and tear on the cathode.”
Scientists at the DoE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have struck the battery mother lode: They’ve created an all-solid lithium-sulfur battery that is cheaper, less flammable, and has four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion batteries. Beyond the obvious gains from a four-fold increase in energy density, these sulfur-based batteries could play a key role in electric vehicles and airplanes, where the flammability of lithium-ion batteries is a serious concern.
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