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World’s most efficient lithium sulphur battery developed in Australia

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World’s most efficient lithium sulphur battery developed in Australia

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: operating principle, advantages and significance.

Context: Researchers at the University of Monash in Australia have managed to create a super-capacity prototype by re-engineering a Lithium Sulphur (Li-S) battery.

Is it new?

Li-S batteries are not new. But they had an intrinsic problem with the sulphur electrode, which would break after repeated charge cycles, making its superior capacity redundant.

The sulphur cathode would break because of expansion and contraction during cycles.

How was this problem overcome?

  • To overcome this problem, the researchers gave the electrodes more space to expand and contract. The electrodes are bound inside the battery using polymers. The research team used lesser quantity of these adhesives so that the electrodes had more spaceout structures inside them.
  • These structures behaved more like bridges between the sulphur particles rather than a dense network, which stopped the electrodes from disintegrating.

 How it works?

The lithium-sulphur batteries operate in the same way as regular lithium-ion work- lithium ions flow between electrodes producing power while not being chemically changed. Charging a battery involves those ions being returned to their starting positions for the process to begin anew.

 Significance:

This battery that has five times the capacity of a traditional lithium ion battery. It can retain 99 per cent of its charge even after 200 charge cycles.

Li-S batteries are also many times cheaper than lithium ion batteries that could bring down the cost of electric mobility.

Sources: the Hindu.