## AMAPOLA project investigating aluminum-sulfur batteries; up to 660 Wh/l and 400 Wh/kg

##### 30 May 2021

Researchers in the European AMAPOLA (A Marketable Polymer based Al-S battery) project are analyzing the combination of sulfur and aluminum in a battery; both elements are abundant in the earth’s crust. The goal is to enable greater energy storage capabilities compared to Li–ion batteries at a lower price for selected markets including transport and aerospace.

The Al-S cell has very high prospective values for energy density (660 Wh/l) and specific energy (400 Wh/kg) at the cell level, taking advantage of the incorporation ofinnovative polymer gel electrolytes (PGEs) based on novel highly conductive and inexpensive deep eutectic solvents (DES) for a cheaper, lighter, tougher and safer battery concept.

AMAPOLA is a Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Proactive project funded under the EIC Transition to Innovation Activities; it build on the developments achieved in the Pathfinder (FET-Open) project SALBAGE, which concluded earlier this year, which an eye toward commercialization.

SALBAGE worked on developing a new secondary aluminum sulfur battery, with the focus on the synthesis of solid-like electrolytes based on polymerizable ionic liquids and Deep Eutectic Solvents in order to obtain polymer-gel electrolytes with an overall ionic conductivity in the range of 1-10 mS/cm at room temperature.

In AMAPOLA, the focus is on:

• Further developing the materials proposed in SALBAGE with special emphasis on the preparation of controlled-phase gel electrolytes from highly conductive novel DES; the development of advanced cathode formulations to achieve high sulfur loading and high sulfur utilization in the cathode in combination with new promising redox mediators; and strategies to overcome the presence of oxide layer in the aluminium anode.

• Up-scale and extrapolate towards real application .

• Pre-industrialization.

The AMAPOLA consortium is coordinated by HEMPOL group (ICTP-CSIC) and includes researchers from University of Leicester, Graz University of Technology (TUGraz), University of Southampton and Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the battery company Varta Microinnovation and the SME Tech2Market.

I dunno when or which chemistry we can get to work, but something like this is needed for the goal of the electrification of transport.

Something like $50-60KWh is needed to do that to make long range BEVs affordable throughout the car range, and that is extraordinarily difficult to do without new chemistry using cheaper materials. Until we hit that sort of price point, BEVs with decent range remain a luxury item, and most motorists can't afford that. Projections of ever falling battery costs largely don't talk about the assumptions needed for the chemistry to make them work, and rely instead on daft projections of falling cost without reference to what technologies would be needed for the trend to continue, which is very much putting the cart before the horse. Those that do when you dig into them, such as the DOE, it turns out that they are assuming things like lithium air batteries arriving, as though that were not only an inevitability but subject to a schedule. A lot of money is being hoovered upwards to the well off on a false premise. I support the electrification of transport, but not at the expense of the less well off, and with technologies which are economic for general use, not a pious hope. In short, I agree with Toyota. ...and yet Toyota lags behind the market and progress in battery tech continues to leap ahead. Davemart, Something like$50-60KWh is needed to do that to make long range BEVs affordable throughout the car range, and that is extraordinarily difficult to do without new chemistry using cheaper materials.
Agree with most of this except the requirement for new chemistry. As Elon Musk pointed out on Tesla Battery Day last September, they have planned developments to reduce costs/kWh up to 56% and depending on the Cathode material these improvements would meet your $50-60 kWh target, e.g. current LiFePO is$80/kWh at the cell and $100/kWh at the battery pack. Iron needs to replace Nickel which is the real critical material. With Silicon Anodes and Cell Vehicle Integration, LiFePO would equal the energy density of current NMC cells (260 Wh/kg). Solid State and Conversion cathodes, e.g. Sulfur, Iron Fluoride, Iodide, etc. are needed to reach energy densities of >500 Wh/kg and this should happen after 2025. As EV numbers get very large (sometime after 2030), then new chemistry becomes important. GM and Volkswagen say price parity with ICE is$100kWh and expect to hit parity by 2025.

Goldman Sachs says Tesla is already there and is expected to hit $60 kWh by mid decade. Average price for a car in the US is$42k, most non-luxury EVs start at or below that now without subsidy. Subsidy, the community buying more clean air / inventing not to pollute on your way to work, makes many EVs cheaper to buy *before* the $17-$20,000 vehicle lifetime fuel cost savings.

Gasoline prices are volatile. Electric prices are stable. If you install solar, can be below market and fixed price (zero volatility for the rest of your life).

Impossible to do with gasoline or hydrogen.

Tesla has figured out vertical integration for the consumer. Better user experience, more energy security, cost savings. Every petroleum industry shock boosts EV interest, especially in Tesla, who is already walking away with the market.

The number one selling EV in China, outselling the Tesla M3 is the Hongguang Mini EV made by SGMW (a joint venture of SAIC,GM, and Wuling). It costs $4500 in China! It has two battery/range options:120 km (75 miles) of range using a 9.3 kWh battery and 170 km (106 miles) of range using a13.9 kWh battery. The best variant was shown at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show in April - the HongGuang MINI EV Cabrio. It will be exported to Europe and named the FreZe Froggy. It will cost for around €20,000 and will be one of the cheapest cabrio in EU. The batteries are LFP. So GM how about a Chevy Bolt based Cabrio. BTW the Chevy Bolt EUV has almost the same length and wheelbase as the last small GM convertible the Buick Cascada. The poor driving giant vehicles with unpriced external costs is going to have to change. Vehicle manufactures will be forced to prioritize aerodynamics far more than styling to be competitive with Tesla which is winning in this aspect. Regulators will have to help build more DCFC stations, and update regs (side rearview cameras for better range, V2X for safety, ...) to enable 200miles cheap EV's. Sandy Monroe thinks Tesla can achieve$50/kwh.

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