Imagine only having to charge your phone once every five days, or an electric vehicle (EV) with a 999km range. Thanks to a new battery technology coming out of Monash University in Australia, these could be real possibilities.
Researchers from Monash have crafted what they claim is a more efficient lithium-sulphur battery — the most efficient to date.
Engadget notes that lithium-sulphur batteries have been in the news a few times over the last few years as a potential replacement for rechargeable batteries popular in electronics, like lithium-ion batteries. However, what sets the Monash version apart is it reworked the particle bonds in the sulphur cathodes, allowing them to handle higher loads without a decrease in capacity, performance or stability.
The university says it derived the technique from the bridging architectures seen in processing detergent powders.
Monash researchers claim an appropriate-sized unit has enough charge to run a smartphone for five days or keep an EV running for over 621 miles (999.4km). But that’s not all — the researchers say the batteries have a reduced environmental impact and an “extremely low-cost” manufacturing process as well.
Scientists plan to test the battery tech in cars and solar power grids in Australia
If you follow tech news a lot, you may be looking at this new battery tech with a healthy dose of skepticism. Crazy new battery technologies turn up all the time but never seem to get to market. Whether because of a need to refine the design or having to find a way to produce the battery in large volumes, many battery inventions end up stuck in the lab for years.
Engadget reports that Monash may be closer to offering an official product than most. Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute has reportedly already created test batteries. Further, scientists plan to test the design in cars and solar power grids in Australia later this year. Finally, researchers have received a patent for the technology.
All that said, it could still take years for the tech becomes commercially available. If and when it does, however, it could make EVs a more enticing option with longer ranges, improve battery life for our devices and be better for the environment overall.