Cheaper, more efficient lithium sulfur battery outperforms current electric car battery fourfold


An “Expansion-Tolerant” Architecture offers stability to ultra-high capacity Lithium-Sulfur battery

A lithium sulfur battery that has four times the capacity than existing electric car batteries has been built and tested by researchers at Monash University, revealed in a paper published in Science Advances.

This would allow you to drive Melbourne to Sydney with just one charge – driving the coastal route. A current edition prius would require to stop in Albury-Wodonga to recharge.

Dr Mahdokht Shaibani, an engineer from Monash did this by developing an electrode which accommodates the cycling stress. An electrode named “expansion-tolerant”. 

They have successfully built and tested full-size prototype batteries with R&D colleagues at the Fraunhofer institution in Germany.

“We’ve developed a unique web-like architecture that makes lithium-sulfur batteries much more stable than before,” Dr Shaibani says.

Mahdokht Shaibani, Monash University

Australia is the number one lithium producer in the world and it is abundant in mine sites in WA. Sulfur is cheap and readily available globally.

One issue with current electric car batteries is that they use cobalt which is scare and mined in Africa.

This also has applications for batteries that store energy off solar panels and grid energy storage.

This technology has been patented and they are currently talking with industry partners. They hope to develop a pilot plant in Australia.

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries can displace lithium-ion (LIB) by delivering higher specific energy at a lower price. Presently, however, the superior performance fades rapidly because the electrodes in the system break down after only a short time.

Further Reading:

  • Filed Patent: Shaibani, M. and Majumder, M. ; “Method of Producing Thick Sulphur Cathodes for Li-S Batteries,” Patent Filed on 12th November 2018, LMA Ref : 33111AU1.
  • Shaibani, M.; Sharifzadeh, M.; Singh, R.; Easton, C.D.; Cooray M.C.D.; Eshraghi, N.; Abendroth, T. ; Dörfler, S. ; Althues, H. ; Kaskel, S. ; Hollenkamp, A.F. ; Hill, M.R. ; Majumder, M. ; “ExpansionTolerant Architectures for Stable Cycling of Ultra-High Loading Sulfur Cathodes in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries,”
  • Shaibani, M. “Expansion-Tolerant Architectures for Stable Cycling of Ultra-High Loading Sulfur Cathodes in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries”, 2019 International Conference on Lithium-Sulfur-Batteries Invited Speaker, Beijing, China, August 2019
  • Shaibani, M. “Revisiting the Design Rules for Sulfur Cathodes : Enabling High Capacity Lithium-Sulfur Batteries”, 7th Lithium-Sulfur-Batteries Workshop Oral Presentation, Dresden, Germany, 12-13 November 2018