China team uses ultra-thin indium sheet to stabilize Li-metal anode

Researchers from Tsinghua University and China University of Geosciences have used an ultrathin indium sheet to construct a stabilized lithium-rich hybrid anode with fast interfacial ion transport. The artificial alloy layer demonstrates an enhanced ionic conductivity with an order of magnitude higher than that of the pristine solid electrolyte interphase.... Read more →

Researchers at Jiangsu Normal University in China have devised a boron-doped carbon-sulfur (BCS) aerogel with consecutive “core-shell” stuctures as a binder-free cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Chemical Communications, they report achieving a high specific capacity of 1326 mAh/g, long cycling lifespan and a... Read more →

A team of researchers in China has devised a simple and mass-produceable method to modify a Li metal anode to avoid the formation of an unstable solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) and the subsequent growth of Li dendrites in high-energy-density Li-S batteries. A paper on their work is published in the... Read more →

€7.9M Lithium Sulfur for Safe Road Electrification project launches in Europe in January

The €7.9-million (US$8.9-million), 43-month Lithium Sulfur for Safe Road Electrification (LISA) project will launch 1 January 2019 in Europe. The overall goal is to design and manufacture a lithium-sulfur technology that will enable safe electrification of EV applications. The partners involved in the LISA project are LEITAT (co-ordinators), OXIS Energy... Read more →

Lithium-chalcogen batteries—e.g., lithium-sulfur (Li-S) and lithium selenium (Li-Se) systems— are promising candidates for high energy electrical storage solution. Earlier this year, a team of researchers at the General Motors Research and Development Center in Warren, MI, with colleagues at Optimal CAE and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), reported demonstrating a... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are proposing a novel approach to suppress the “polysulfide shuttle” in Li-S batteries—a freestanding, three-dimensional graphene/1T MoS2 (3DG/TM) heterostructure with highly efficient electrocatalysis for lithium polysulfides (LiPSs). Cells with 3DG/TM exhibit outstanding electrochemical performance, with a high reversible discharge capacity of 1181... Read more →

Researchers from Western University, Canadian Light Source, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have proposed a novel solid-phase Li-S transformation mechanism that enables high energy Li-S batteries in conventional Li-ion carbonate electrolytes. An open-access paper on their work is published in Nature Communications. Schematic of a lithium sulfur battery in... Read more →

SJTU team develops fumed alumina gel-like electrolyte to boost performance of Li-S batteries

Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University have developed a gel-like electrolyte induced by fumed alumina for dendrite-free Li deposition, lower over-potential and better cycle stability in lithium-sulfur batteries. An open-access paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Chemical Communications. The Li-S@pPAN cells with the proposed electrolyte exhibit... Read more →

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, despite their high theoretical specific energy, face practical challenges including polysulfide shuttling and low cell-level energy density. Researchers at the University of Waterloo have now shown that the lightweight superconductor MgB2 (magnesium diboride)—the average mass/atom of which is comparable with carbon—as a metallic sulfur host fulfills both... Read more →

The Rice University lab of chemist James Tour has shown that thin nanotube films effectively stop dendrites that grow naturally from unprotected lithium metal anodes in batteries. A paper on their work is published in the journal Advanced Materials. Here, it is shown that lithiated multiwall carbon nanotubes (Li‐MWCNTs) act... Read more →

Researchers in Drexel’s College of Engineering report the ability of stabilized titanium monoxide (TiO) nanoparticles in nanofibers to support high conductivity and to bind polysulfides in Li-S batteries. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Applied Materials & Interfaces. The developed 3-D TiO/CNF architecture with the inherent inter-fiber macropores... Read more →

Nanobox strategy to improve performance of Li-S batteries

Researchers at Changchun University of Science and Technology in China have developed a nanobox strategy to improve the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries. A paper on their work appears in the Journal of Power Sources. Li–S batteries theoretically offer a specific energy density of 2600 Wh kg−1—five times than the commercial... Read more →

OXIS Energy hits 425 Wh/kg with Li-S cell,expects to achieve 450 Wh/kg by end of year

OXIS Energy UK has achieved 425 Wh/kg on a High Energy 16Ah pouch Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) cell design for HAPS applications (High Altitude Pseudo Satellites) and expects to achieve 450Wh/kg at cell level by the end of 2018. OXIS aims to reach 500Wh/kg by the end of 2019 through its... Read more →

Although rechargeable lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries promise high energy density storage—particularly attractive for electric vehicle applications—the technology is currently limited by the shuttling polysulfides between the battery’s electrodes. Polysulfides deteriorate the lithium side of the battery and reduce its ability to hold charge. Now, Mohamed Alkordi at Zewail City of Science... Read more →

A team of researchers from institutions in China and the US report the design of a negatively charged graphene composite separator for the effective suppression of the polysulfide shuttling effect in Li-sulfur batteries. The negatively charged 3D porous structure effectively inhibits the translocation of negatively charged polysulfide ions to enable... Read more →

Although Li metal anode are a promising enabler for high-energy-density next-generation battery systems, practical applications are severely hindered by low efficiency and potential safety hazards, largely due to the high reactivity of metallic Li toward liquid electrolytes. Now, a team of researchers at Stanford University has demonstrated the use of... Read more →

Purdue engineers have used upcycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic to boost the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries. They first prepared porous sulfonated carbon (PSC) from LDPE plastic via microwave-promoted sulfonation. The microwave process not only boosts the sulfonation reaction of LDPE but also induces huge amounts of pores within the sulfonated... Read more →

The “classic” high-energy capacity Lithium-sulfur battery is predicated on the use of a sulfur-based cathode and a Lithium-metal anode. Among the issues hampering the commercialization of this attractive technology are the safety and performance issues associated with the use of the lithium-metal anode. Accordingly, a number of different approaches have... Read more →

Researchers at Tsinghua University in China have used ultrathin and lightweight molybdenum sulfide (MoS2)/carbon nanotube (CNT) interlayers to trap polysulfides in high-performance lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. An electrode with the MoS2/CNT interlayer delivers an attractive specific capacity of... Read more →

Lignosulfonate, a sulfonated carbon waste material, is a major by-product in the papermaking industry. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have now developed a method to use this cheap and abundant waste byproduct to build a components for lithium-sulfur batteries. Reported in an open-access paper published in the RSC journal... Read more →

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have used two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide) as a protective layer for Li-metal anodes, greatly improving the performances of Li–S batteries. In a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers report that such a use of MoS2 results in stable Li... Read more →

Dendritic growth of lithium (Li) on lithium metal anodes has hobbled the practical application of Li-metal batteries, despite their theoretical benefits such as high capacity and low redox potential. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with colleagues at Texas A&M University, have used a 3D conformal graphene... Read more →

Lithium-metal batteries are among the most promising candidates for high-density energy storage technology, but uncontrolled lithium dendrite growth, which results in poor recharging capability and safety hazards, currently is hindering their commercial potential. Now, researchers at Arizona State University, with colleagues at Rice University, have used a 3-dimensional layer of... Read more →

Aerotec, a Brazilian Private Equity fund, will invest £3.75 million (US$5.2 million) in Li-Sulfur battery company OXIS Energy. The investment is Aerotec’s first international venture. Established in 2005, OXIS Energy has developed, and continues to advance, an innovative Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) battery chemistry. With considerably higher energy density, OXIS’ batteries... Read more →

Researchers from Shinshu University in Japan have developed a method to suppress the growth of lithium dendrites in Li-S and Li-air batteries. As reported in a paper in the RSC journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, they used magnesium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide [Mg(TFSA)2] as an electrolyte additive to suppress the growth of Li... Read more →

Boeing HorizonX invests in lithium-metal rechargeable battery startup Cuberg

Boeing has invested in Berkeley, Calif.-based Cuberg, Inc., a startup founded by former Stanford University researchers developing next-generation battery technology for potential aerospace and industrial applications. Cuberg developed an advanced lithium metal rechargeable battery cell that is designed to be a drop-in solution to existing large-scale battery manufacturing processes. It... Read more →

Lithium metal—with its high theoretical capcity and low electrochemical potential—is an ideal anode for Li-ion batteries, and is the material of choice for advanced batteries such as Li-sulfur and Li-O2. However, dendritic growth on the anode leads to an unstable solid electrolyte interphase, volume fluctuation, and even shorting of the... Read more →

A team of researchers led by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed an active polyelectrolyte binder (PEB) that actively regulates key ion transport processes within a lithium-sulfur battery, and have also shown how it functions on a molecular level. The new... Read more →

Researchers in China are proposing a new strategy to retard dendrite formation on Li metal anodes in high-capacity Li-ion batteries. In a paper published in the ACS journal Nano Letters, they describe trapping Li within hollow silica microspheres with a carbon nanotube core to suppress dendrite growth. Such an electrode... Read more →

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a technique to create high performance lithium-ion batteries utilizing sulfur and silicon electrodes. Reported in an open-access paper in the journal Scientific Reports, this sulfur-silicon full cell (SSFC) battery architecture gradually integrates controlled amounts of pure lithium... Read more →

U of Waterloo team develops low-cost approach to stabilize Li metal anodes

Researchers at the University of Waterloo (Canada) have developed a low-cost and scalable approach that tackles the stabilization of Li metal electrodes by forming a single-ion-conducting and stable protective surface layer in vivo. They use a rationally designed electrolyte additive complex that reacts with the Li surface to form the... Read more →

A team in China has used graphene microsheets (GMs)—prepared from microcrystalline graphite minerals by an electrochemical & mechanical approach—as a special conductive support for sulfur for the cathode of a lithium-sulfur battery. The graphene microsheets feature excellent conductivity and low-defect, small sheet sizes of <1 μm2 and ≤ 6 atomic... Read more →

Rice University team finds asphalt-lithium metal anode enables faster charging, resistance to dendrite formation; Li-S test cell The Rice lab of chemist James Tour has developed anodes comprising porous carbon made from asphalt that showed exceptional stability after more than 500 charge-discharge cycles. A high-current density of 20 milliamps per... Read more →

Researchers at Cornell led by Professor Lyndon Archer, in collaboration with Professor Ravishankar Sundararaman at Rensselaer Polytechnic, have demonstrated a new technique for enabling the use of high-capacity lithium metal anodes in rechargeable batteries. In a paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie the team shows that the indium (In) coatings... Read more →

alpha-En Corporation and Argonne partner on Li metal anodes for EV batteries; $750K award from DOE

alpha-En Corporation, a company that has developed a patent-pending process to produce high-purity thin-film lithium metal anodes and associated products sustainably, will receive an award of $750,000 from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transition Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). This funding will be used to commercialize Argonne National... Read more →

Researchers in Sweden and Italy have devised a simple strategy to address the issues currently hampering commercialization of high-energy density Li-sulfure batteries, including limited practical energy density, life time and the scaling-up of materials and production processes. In a paper in the Journal ChemSusChem they report that using a novel... Read more →

DOE awarding $19.4M to 22 advanced vehicle technologies projects; Mercedes-Benz, GM Li-S battery projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $19.4 million to 22 new cost-shared projects to accelerate the research of advanced battery, lightweight materials, engine emission control technologies, and energy efficient mobility systems (EEMS). Among the awardees are Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America and GM, with separate projects on... Read more →

Ricardo develops new model-based EV battery control technology; evaluating new cell chemistries

Ricardo has developed a new Battery Management System (BMS) for EVs that is scalable to a wide range of applications. The new BMS enhances the use of advanced model-based control methods to optimize the performance of both existing and next-generation cell chemistries. One of the most significant impediments to an... Read more →

By mimicking fibrinolysis, a biological self-healing process, researchers at China’s Tsinghua University have developed a self-healing sulfur microparticle (SMiP) cathode. In a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers report that the SMiP cathode attained an optimized capacity (∼3.7 mAh cm−2), with almost no decay after... Read more →

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), with colleagues from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and University of Potsdam, have fabricated a nanomaterial made from nanoparticles of a titanium oxide compound (Ti4O7) for use as a cathode material in lithium-sulfur batteries. The highly porous nanomaterial features high storage capacity... Read more →

Rice University scientists have used a seamless graphene-carbon nanotube (GCNT) electrode to store lithium metal reversibly and with complete suppression of dendrite formation. The GCNT-Li capacity of 3351 mAh g-1GCNT-Li approaches that of bare Li metal (3861 mAh g-1Li)—indicating the low contributing mass of GCNT—while yielding a practical areal capacity... Read more →

Materials researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland have, in collaboration with the Université Grenoble Alpes (France), developed a simple method that can improve the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries by 25-30%. In a study published in the journal Nature Energy, the team reported that the additional of silicon... Read more →

Researchers at France-based battery major Saft, along with colleagues at Université Paris Est, have, for the first time, used a nanocomposite metal hydride as the anode in a complete solid-state battery with a sulfur cathode and LiBH4 electrolyte. The cell shows a high reversible capacity of 910 mAh g−1 with... Read more →

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Sandia National Laboratories, all members of the DOE’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), have significantly improved the performance of Li-sulfur batteries under lean electrolyte conditions by using a soft PEO10LiTFSI polymer swellable gel as a nanoscale reservoir to trap the... Read more →

A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside has developed an approach to addressing the vexing problem of dendrite formation that hobbles the use of high energy density lithium-metal anodes in advanced recyclable batteries. The new universal strategy, described in a paper in the ACS journal Chemistry of... Read more →

Researchers at Yale University developed an ultrathin functionalized dendrimer–graphene oxide composite film that can be applied to virtually any sulfur cathode in a Li-sulfur (Li-S) battery system to alleviate capacity fading over battery cycling without compromising the energy or power density of the entire battery. Sulfur electrodes coated with the... Read more →

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have found that adding a small, optimal amount (0.05M) of LiPF6 (lithium hexafluorophosphate) as an additive in LiTFSI–LiBOB dual-salt/carbonate-solvent-based electrolytes significantly enhances the charging capability and cycling stability of Li metal batteries. A paper on their work is published in the journal Nature... Read more →

A team of engineers led by John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed a new strategy for a safe, low-cost, all-solid-state rechargeable sodium or lithium battery cell that has the required energy density... Read more →

One of the major issues hobbling the commercialization of high energy-density lithium-sulfur batteries is the “polysulfide shuttle”—the shuttling of polysulfide ions between the cathode and anode. The polysulfide shuttle is a major technical issue that limits the electrical performance and cycle life of this type of battery. Addressing this polysulfide... Read more →

Lithium-sulfur batteries are one of the most promising alternatives for next-generation high-energy-density batteries; however, one of the main obstacles to widespread commercialization that still needs to be addressed is the polysulfide shuttle mechanism between the two electrodes. The polysulfide shuttle—the migration of lithium polysulfides formed during charge and discharge from... Read more →