A team at Sun Yat-sen University in China has developed new high-performance, stable cathode for Li-S batteries consisting of a 3D activated carbon fiber matrix (ACFC) and sulfur. The structured 3D foldable sulfur cathode (ACFC-S) delivers a reversible capacity of about 979 mAh g−1 at 0.2C; a capacity retention of 98%... Read more →


Researchers at MIT have carried out the most detailed analysis yet of lithium dendrite formation from lithium anodes in batteries and have found that there are two entirely different mechanisms at work. While both forms of deposits are composed of lithium filaments, the way they grow depends on the applied... Read more →


DOE HPC4Mfg program funds 13 projects to advance US manufacturing; welding, Li-S batteries among projects

A US Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to spur the use of high performance supercomputers to advance US manufacturing has funded 13 new industry projects for a total of $3.8 million. Among the projects selected are one by GM and EPRI of California to improve welding techniques for automobile... Read more →


Inspired by the structure of ant nests, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have devised a novel Li–S electrode featuring increased sulfur loading and sulfur/inactive-materials ratio to improve life and capacity. In a paper in the ACS journal Nano Letters, the team reports that the efficient capabilities of the ant-nest... Read more →


A team at the University of Maryland have synthesized a mixed conducting nanocomposite sulfur electrode that consists of different nanoparticles with distinct properties of lithium storage capability, mechanical reinforcement, and ionic and electronic conductivities. As described in a paper published in the ACS journal Nano Letters, the new nanocomposite serves... Read more →


At its TecDay event in Stuttgart, Daimler said it will invest more than €7 billion (US$7.9 billion) in green technologies in the next two years alone. Shortly, smart will be the only automaker worldwide to offer its entire model range both powered by internal combustion engines or operating on battery... Read more →


Researchers at Hunan University, China, have developed a new strategy to suppress the diffusion of polysulfides into the electrolyte in Li-Sulfur batteries, resulting in improved performance. As described in a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, the research tea used hydrophilic carbon paper anchored by hierarchically porous cobalt disulfides... Read more →


OXIS Energy and Lithium Balance partner on Li-sulfur battery system for China e-scooter market; targeting spring 2018

Li-sulfur battery developer OXIS Energy UK (earlier post) and Lithium Balance of Denmark are partnering to build a prototype Lithium-sulfur battery system primarily for the e-scooter market in China. Lithium Balance is a battery management expert which has supplied its BMS systems for Li-ion based e-scooters for a decade. The... Read more →


Researchers from University of Western Ontario, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and Canadian Light Sources (CLS) have developed a safe and durable high-temperature Li-sulfur battery using universal conventional carbon–sulfur (C-S) electrodes with a molecular layer deposited (MLD) alucone (aluminum oxide polymeric film) coating. The MLD alucone-coated C−S electrodes demonstrate stabilized... Read more →


Researchers from Hunan University and Changsha University in China have designed 3D hierarchical porous nitrogen-doped aligned carbon nanotubes (HPNACNTs) with well-directed 1D conductive electron paths as scaffold to load sulfur for use as a high-performance cathode in Li-S batteries. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of... Read more →


Researchers at Beihang University in Beijing have developed a new Li-sulfur battery using honeycomb-like sulfur copolymer uniformly distributed onto 3D graphene (3D cpS-G) networks for a cathode material and a 3D lithiated Si-G network as anode. In a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, they reported... Read more →


PNNL study identifies one of the mechanisms behind Li-sulfur battery capacity fade; the importance of electrolyte anion selection

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) investigating the stability of the anode/electrolyte interface in Li-Sulfur batteries have found that Li-S batteries using LiTFSI-based electrolytes are more stable than those using LiFSI-based electrolytes. In their study, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, they determined that the decreased stability is... Read more →


Lithium-metal anodes are favored for use in next-generation rechargeable Li-air or Li-sulfur batteries due to a tenfold higher theoretical specific capacity than graphite (3,860 mAh/g vs. 372 mAh/g); light weight and lowest anode potential. However, safety issues resulting from dendrite formation and instability caused by volume expansion have hampered development... Read more →


Researchers from Texas A&M and Purdue have developed a new cathode material for Li-S batteries based on what they call carbon compartments (CCs)—conductive 3D carbon mesostructures that possess macro- and meso-pores that allow for high loading of sulfur nanoparticles and enhanced electrolyte-sulfur contact. Fabricated using a scalable, single-step, and inexpensive... Read more →


DOE announces $58M in funding for advanced vehicle technologies

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz used the Washington DC Auto show as the venue to announce $58 million in funding for vehicle technology advancements. (Earlier post.) (DE-FOA-0001384: Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement) DOE also released a report highlighting the successes of itsAdvanced Technology Vehicles... Read more →


Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University have synthesized highly crumpled nitrogen-doped graphene (NG) sheets with ultrahigh pore volume (5.4 cm3) and large surface area (1158 m2/g), which enable strong polysulfide adsorption and high sulfur content for use as a cathode material in Li-sulfur batteries. The wrinkled graphene sheets are interwoven... Read more →


New hybrid polymer-glass electrolyte for solid-state lithium batteries

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a novel electrolyte for use in solid-state lithium batteries that overcomes many of the problems that plague other solid electrolytes while also showing signs of being... Read more →


ORNL, Solid Power sign exclusive license for lithium-sulfur battery technology

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Solid Power Inc. of Louisville, Colo., have signed an exclusive agreement licensing lithium-sulfur materials for next-generation batteries. Solid Power licensed a portfolio of ORNL patents relating to lithium-sulfur compositions that will enable development of more energy-dense batteries. ORNL’s proof-of-concept battery research... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a working laboratory demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has very high energy density, is more than 90% efficient, and, to date, can be recharged more than 2000 times, showing how several of the problems holding back the development of these devices... Read more →


Report: Bosch buying solid-state Li-ion battery company Seeo

Quartz today reported that Bosch has agreed to acquire Berkeley Lab solid-state Li-ion battery spinoff Seeo. Seeo’s cell design couples a solid lithium metal anode with a conventional porous lithium iron phosphate cathode and Seeo’s nanostructured solid polymer electrolyte (“DryLite”). The electrolyte is entirely solid-state with no flammable or volatile... Read more →


ETH Zurich team develops new low-temp synthesis route for high-conductivity garnet structures for solid-state Li-ion batteries

Ga-doped Li7La3Zr2O12 (Ga-LLZO) garnet structures are promising electrolytes for all-solid state Li-ion-batteries. LLZO not only has a high ionic conductivity of 10-4 S cm-1, which greatly surpasses that of all the other garnets, it also has excellent stability even in molten Li. Unlike many other solid electrolytes, LLZO does not... Read more →


Under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the EU has launched ALISE (Advanced Lithium Sulfur battery for xEV), a pan-European collaboration focused on the development and commercial scale-up of new materials and on the understanding of the electrochemical processes involved in lithium-sulfur technology. The €6,899,233 (US$7.6 million)... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a thermally conductive separator coated with boron-nitride (BN) nanosheets to improve the stability of Li metal anodes for us in high energy density Li-ion batteries. Hexagonal boron nitride (“white graphene”) is a 2D material that offers chemical stability, electrical insulation, and very... Read more →


Researchers in China report the development of a rationally designed Li−S cathode consisting of a freestanding composite thin film assembled from sulfur nanoparticles, reduced graphene oxide (rGO), and a multifunctional additive poly(anthraquinonyl sulfide) (PAQS): nano-S:rGO:PAQS. The resulting cathode exhibits an initial specific capacity of 1255 mAh g−1 with a decay... Read more →


Researchers from Tsinghua University have developed what they call a “promising strategy” to tackle the intrinsic problems of lithium metal anodes for Lithium sulfur batteries—dendritic and mossy metal depositing on the anode during repeated cycles leading to serious safety concerns and low Coulombic efficiency. As described in a paper published... Read more →


Stanford University scientists have created a new ultrahigh surface area three-dimensional porous graphitic carbon material that significantly boosts the performance of energy-storage technologies. Their results are presented in an open access paper published in the journal ACS Central Science. The multivalent cross-linker and rigid conjugated framework help to maintain micro-... Read more →


DOE announces $26.6M SBIR/STTR FY15 Phase 1 Release 2 awards; fuel cells, batteries, power electronics and efficient combustion engines

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 162 projects to receive about $26.6 million in the 2015 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 2 Awards. (Earlier post.) Of these, 16 are vehicle-related, encompassing projects developing batteries, power electronics and improved combustion engine... Read more →


Li2S/GO@C Nanosphere. Credit: ACS, Hwa et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers with appointments at both UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a high-rate and long-life Li-sulfur battery cell. The cathode material is a core–shell nanostructure comprising Li2S nanospheres with an embedded graphene oxide (GO) sheet as a... Read more →


PATHION develops new LiRAP-based solid-state electrolytes for Li-sulfur and sodium-ion batteries

At the Spring 2015 Materials Research Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, PATHION presented two new derivative superionic solid-state electrolytes built upon LiRAP (Lithium-Rich Anti-Perovskite). PATHION has an exclusive worldwide license for LiRAP from Los Alamos National Laboratories. Supported by an ARPA-E grant, LiRAP has proven to be a... Read more →


A team of researchers in South Korea and Italy has demonstrated a highly reliable lithium–sulfur battery showing cycle performance comparable to that of commercially available lithium-ion batteries while offering more than double the energy density. The team, led by a group from Hanyang University, used a highly reversible dual-type sulfur... Read more →


A team at Beihang University in China has synthesized cathode materials for Li-sulfur batteries consisting of vertically aligned sulfur–graphene (S-G) nanowalls on electrically conductive substrates. In each individual S-G nanowall, the sulfur nanoparticles are homogeneously anchored between graphene layers; ordered graphene arrays arrange perpendicularly to the substrates, enabling fast diffusion... Read more →


Drexel researchers, along with colleagues at Aix-Marseille University in France, have synthesized two-dimensional carbon/sulfur (C/S) nanolaminate materials. Covalent bonding between C and S is observed in the nanolaminates, which along with and an extremely uniform distribution of sulfur between the atomically thin carbon layers make them promising electrode materials for... Read more →


One of the main obstacles to the commercialization of high-energy density lithium-sulfur batteries is the tendency for lithium polysulfides—the lithium and sulfur reaction products—to dissolve in the battery’s electrolyte and travel to the opposite electrode permanently. This causes the battery’s capacity to decrease over its lifetime. To prevent this polysulfide... Read more →


Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new electrolyte that allows lithium-sulfur, lithium-metal and lithium-air batteries to operate at 99% efficiency, while having a high current density and without growing dendrites that short-circuit rechargeable batteries. An open-access paper on their work is published in the journal Nature... Read more →


DNA has a high concentration of heteroatoms, including oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus, that can anchor soluble polysulfides to improve the cycling performance of Li/S batteries. Li et al. Click to enlarge. A team from the China University of Geosciences has taken a novel approach to stabilizing Lithium-sulfur batteries by functionalizing... Read more →


High-performance slurryless Li2S cathode paper for Li-Sulfur batteries

Researchers from China and the US have developed a flexible slurryless nano-Li2S/reduced graphene oxide cathode paper (nano-Li2S/rGO paper) which can be directly used as a free-standing and binder-free cathode without metal substrate, which leads to significant weight savings in batteries. The cathode paper is intended to be paired with safer... Read more →


Voltage profiles of charge-discharge cycles of the solid-state Li-S battery. Current density of 0.05 C). The specific capacity is given per g of sulfur. Yamada et al. Click to enlarge. A team from Samsung R&D and the University of Rome “La Sapienza” have fabricated a novel all solid-state Li-S battery... Read more →


Researchers at the Kumoh National Institute of Technology in Korea have developed a new, high-performance Li-Tellurium (Li-Te) secondary battery system using a Li metal anode and a Te-based cathode. As described in an open access paper in Nature’s Scientific Reports, the mechanically reduced (MR) Te/C nanocomposite electrode material exhibited high... Read more →


U. Waterloo / BASF team reports new strategy for stabilizing high-performance Li-S cathodes; “transfer mediator”

A team from the University of Waterloo in Canada and BASF has devised a successful new strategy to stabilize cathode in Li-S batteries, thereby significantly improving performance and cycle life. In a study exploring the mechanism published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers, led by Prof. Linda Nazar at... Read more →


Li-ion sulfur polymer battery shows high energy density as well as safety

A team from the University of Rome Sapienza has developed a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery based on the combination of a high capacity sulfur-carbon cathode, nanostructured LixSn-C anode and polysulfide-added PEO-based gel membrane. The cell shows very good electrochemical performances in terms of stability and delivered capacity; this electrolyte configuration... Read more →


A team at Nankai University in China has devised high-performance Li-sulfur battery cathode materials consisting of sulfur nanodots (2 nm average) directly electrodeposited on flexible nickel foam; the cathode materials incorporate no carbon or binder. An optimized cathode with 0.45 mg/cm2 S on the Ni foam exhibited high initial discharge... Read more →


Theoretical discharging behavior and high cycle stability of 5 nm NPs. (a) Discharge/charge profile of 5 nm S NPs at 0.1 C. (b) XRD patterns of discharge products of 20 and 5 nm S NPs discharged to 1.0 V. (c) XPS spectra of discharge products of 5 nm S NPs... Read more →


Cycling performance of the GS-S/CZIF8-D composite and the unwrapped S/CZIF8-D composite. Chen et al. Click to enlarge. A team of researchers led by Dr. Vasant Kumar at the University of Cambridge and Professor Renjie Chen at the Beijing Institute of Technology has devised a three-dimensional hierarchical sandwich-type graphene sheet-sulfur/carbon (GS-S/CZIF8-D)... Read more →


Li-S battery company OXIS Energy receives 2014 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation

Consultancy Frost &Sullivan has selected UK-based lithium-sulfur battery developer OXIS Energy to receive the 2014 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation. OXIS Energy has developed a lithium-sulfur battery technology that resolves some of the issues in the batteries currently used in military, automotive, and solar energy storage applications.... Read more →


Suppressing lithium (Li) dendrite growth is one of the most critical challenges for the development of Li-metal batteries—i.e., high-energy density batteries using a Li-metal anode such as Li-sulfur or Li-air. (Earlier post.) Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) report for the first time the growth of dendrite-free lithium films... Read more →


Li-S battery company OXIS Energy reports 300 Wh/kg and 25 Ah cell, predicting 33 Ah by mid-2015, 500 Wh/kg by end of 2018

UK-based Lithium-sulfur battery company OXIS Energy (earlier post) reported developing a Lithium-sulfur cell achieving in excess of 300 Wh/kg. In addition, OXIS has achieved an increase in cell capacity to 25 Ah—a twelve-fold improvement in 18 months. OXIS predicts it will achieve a cell capacity of 33Ah by mid-2015. The... Read more →


Discharge capacities and Coulombic efficiency vs cycles for the new composite at 0.6C. Capacity values were calculated based on the mass of sulfur. Credit: ACS, Zhou et al. Click to enlarge. A team from General Motors Global Research & Development Center in Michigan has developed a new double-layered core–shell structure... Read more →


A team at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) has developed an ordered meso-microporous core–shell carbon (MMCS) as a sulfur container, which combines the advantages of both mesoporous and microporous carbon for use in high-capacity, long-life cathodes for Lithium-sulfur batteries. This strategy, they suggest in a paper in the... Read more →


Schematic illustration of the synthesis of SPGs. Credit: ACS, Li et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Rice University led by Dr. James Tour have developed a hierarchical nanocomposite material of graphene nanoribbons combined with polyaniline and sulfur (Sulfur-PANI-GNRs, SPG) using an inexpensive, simple method. The composite shows good rate... Read more →


Cornell researchers stabilize lithium metal anodes using halide salt in liquid electrolyte

A team at Cornell University led by Dr. Lynden Archer has used simple liquid electrolytes reinforced with halogenated salt blends to stabilize lithium metal anodes in a rechargeable battery. The cells exhibit stable long-term cycling at room temperature over hundreds of cycles of charge and discharge and thousands of operating... Read more →