A New Generation of Electric Car Battery

Scientists out of the University of Waterloo are one step closer to inventing a cheaper, lighter and more powerful rechargeable battery for electric vehicles. At the heart of this discovery lies a breakthrough in lithium-sulfur batteries due to an ultra-thin nanomaterial.

This from the University of Waterloo:

Their discovery of a material that maintains a rechargeable sulfur cathode helps to overcome a primary hurdle to building a lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery. Such a battery can theoretically power an electric car three times further than current lithium-ion batteries for the same weight – at much lower cost.

Read the full article here.

According to the scientists, this discovery is a major step toward bringing the lithium-sulfur battery one step closer to reality.

Using sulfur as a material in battery creation is advantageous for many reasons – it is extremely abundant, relatively lights, and very cheap. However, the sulfur cathode exhausts itself after only a few cycles. The group at Waterloo discovered how to combat this issue when they found that metal oxides could be the key to stabilizing the polysulfides.

This from the University of Waterloo:

They found that the oxygenated surface of the ultrathin MnO2 nanosheet chemically recycles the sulphides in a two-step process involving a surface-bound intermediate, polythiosulfate. The result is a high-performance cathode that can recharge more than 2000 cycles.

The research was funded by BASF International Scientific Network for Electrochemistry and Batteries.

Here at ECS, we’re looking toward the future of electric car technology and are hoping to inspire and enable young electrochemists to make those breakthroughs. Queue the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship.

ECS, in partnership with the Toyota Research Institute of North America, is requesting proposals from young professors and scholars pursing innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology.

Submit your proposal today! Deadline is January 31, 2015.


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