The lithium-sulfur are becoming a serious candidate to compete in the field of ‘traditional’ batteries for electric cars: the lithium ion. In fact, the European Union will launch on January 1 a project to develop, design and manufacture batteries with lithium sulfur technology in solid state in the next three and a half years.
And there is more. A team of researchers from Jiangsu Normal University in China has developed a boron-activated carbon-sulfur airgel , which boosts the energy density of lithium-sulfur batteries.
How to solve the bad conductivity of sulfur
The high demand for electric vehicles has led researchers around the world to find alternatives to lithium, cobalt or rare earth by exploiting high-capacity electrode materials.
Several problems have been encountered that impede the practical applications of lithium-sulfur batteries, such as the poor electrical conductivity of sulfur or the expansion of sulfur volume during the battery discharge and discharge process. These problems result in a low specific capacity and a poor life cycle in these batteries.
But the study, published in the journal Chemical Communications , shows that important advances are being made. The research team has created a carbon airgel formed from spherical structures of sulfur coated with graphite.
This new material is designed to be used in the cathode of lithium-sulfur batteries, in order to increase its capacities, which translates into: a useful life of up to 500 charging and discharging cycles, almost 100% efficiency and a specific capacity of 1,326 mAh / g (milliamperes per gram).
The question is whether this process can be reproduced on a large scale and at an affordable cost, since this is the main obstacle facing the battery industry for electric vehicles.
A project of the University of Córdoba put on the table the potential capacity of calcium in the operation of a rechargeable battery, but the recharge is not yet efficient enough. Something similar happens with lithium-sulfur batteries; One of the biggest drawbacks of these batteries is their short lifespan, which makes them lose much of their capacity every time they recharge.
The truth is that the future of electromobility lies with researchers, who have to find new sources of energy to make the cars of the future work. Because the raw materials are not infinite.