Now, scientists at Monash University are on the verge of launching the world's most efficient lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery in the market.
The team working on the project says that the new Li-S battery could outperform the current battery market leaders by a factor of four.
According to battery experts The Faraday Institution, the widespread use of lithium-sulfur batteries faces "major hurdles" stemming from sulfur's "insulating nature", and degradation of the metallic lithium anode.
For example, they tend to have a much shorter lifespan than lithium-ion batteries. It also uses the same materials found in a lithium-ion battery, which bodes well for quickly shifting manufacturing over to produce the new design. This battery is capable of powering a smartphone for five continuous days. He said: "The successful manufacture and implementation of Li-S batteries in cars and networks will capture a larger part of the estimated $ 213 billion value chain of Australian lithium, and revolutionize the Australian market for vehicles and will provide all Australians with a cleaner and more reliable energy market".
They claim to have developed a new design, which cannot only beat regular Lithium-ion batteries in terms of backup but is also much more affordable to manufacture and favorable for the environment.
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The idea of adding sulfur to lithium for a cheaper, lighter, more environmentally friendly, longer-lasting battery is not new. According to the official university website, the team will be testing the battery's in early 2020.
The worldwide effort was led by Dr Mahdokht Shaibani of the university's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with team members from the University of Liege in Belgium and Dresden, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology. The scientists see the battery tech being used in all manner of environments, including the power grid, EVs, and electronics. This reconstruction allows the batteries to withstand higher stress loads without a decline in capacity and performance.
"This approach not only favours high-performance metrics and long cycle life, but is also simple and extremely low-priced to manufacture, using water-based processes, and can lead to significant reductions in environmentally hazardous waste", Hill said.
As of now, the team has received more than $2.5 million as fund from the Australian government and global industry partners to test the battery in electric vehicles and solar grids.