Researchers develop worlds most efficient battery, charges phone for 5 days

Associate Professor Matthew Hill, Dr Mahdokht Shaibani, and Professor Mainak Majumder with the lithium-sulfur battery design.

Researchers at Australia's Monash University have developed what they're calling "the world's most efficient lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery", an ultra-high-capacity design that could quadruple camera battery life and run a smartphone for 5 consecutive days without a charge. This battery is capable of powering a smartphone for five continuous days. The catch is lithium-sulfur batteries tend to have a far shorter lifespan.

Furthermore, Li-S batteries are generally considered to be the successors of the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries due to their lower cost of production, energy efficiency and improved safety. 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.

Currently, lithium-ion batteries dominate the power market.

But the Monash University researchers say that they may have come up with a new type of lithium-sulfur battery that could mitigate some of those problems.

"The successful manufacture and implementation of Li-S batteries in cars and networks will capture a larger part of the estimated $ 213 billion value chain of Australian lithium, revolutionize the Australian vehicle market and supply everyone Australians a cleaner and more reliable energy market".

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It also said that several of the world's leading battery makers have shown interest in upscaling manufacturing.

This superior performance fades rapidly, however, when the sulphur electrodes are loaded to required levels, thanks to cracks caused by volume changes of 78 percent, which is eight times higher than what takes place in lithium-ion batteries.

To produce these batteries, the researchers have used prototype cells that have been manufactured by Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology.

"Our research team has received more than $ 2.5 million in funding from government and global industry partners to test this battery technology in cars and electrical grids this year, which is most gratifying to us".

That inspiration allowed the creation of a bond between particles that accommodates stress and delivers stability not seen in any battery to date.

This approach not only favours high-performance metrics and long cycle life, but is also simple and extremely low-priced to manufacture, using water-based processes, and can lead to significant reductions in environmentally hazardous waste.

  • Delia Davidson