New lithium-sulfur batteries could keep a phone charged for five days

New battery can power phone for five days

New battery could power a smartphone for 5 days

Experts have known that lithium-sulfur, or Li-S, batteries can store a lot more power-sulfur allows for a higher charge capacity and, perhaps more importantly, is cheaper than the components now used in lithium-ion batteries, which rely on materials such as nickel and cobalt.

Researchers at Australian university have developed a battery which will keep the smartphone charged for five days or provide power to an electric auto for 1,000 kilometres.

The resulting battery is capable of powering a smartphone for five continuous days or enable an electric vehicle to drive over 1000km without needing to recharge. The only limiting factor of the "greener" substitute of batteries is that they have a far shorter lifespan.

Dr. Mahdokht Shaibani from Monash University's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering led an global research team that developed an ultra-high capacity Li-S battery that has better performance and less environmental impact than current lithium-ion products. While lithium-sulfur batteries have always been an attractive alternative to the standard lithium-ion batteries seen in most electronics today, there are a number of hurdles that have kept them from reaching the mass market. In doing so, they claim to have created the "world's most efficient" lithium-sulfur battery. Such batteries also start losing their capacity over time - for instance, a laptop battery in use for a few years does not function as well as a new one. 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.

Prototype cells have been manufactured by German R&D partners of the university called Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology. The first testing will take place in Australia early this year.

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Professor Mainak Majumder said this development was a breakthrough for Australian industry and could transform the way phones, cars, computers and solar networks are made in the future.

In order to improve the efficiency of the battery, the scientists at Monash reworked the particle bonds in sulfur cathodes so that they could handle higher energy loads without any changes in performance, capacity, and stability.

'Our research team has received more than $2.5 million in funding from government and worldwide industry partners to trial this battery technology in cars and grids from this year, which we're most excited about'.

Associate professor Matthew Hill, who worked with Dr Shaibani, said the Li-S design offers attractive performance, lower manufacturing costs, abundant materials supply easily of processing and reduced environmental footprint.

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