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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Researchers develop 20% improved lithium-sulfur battery for electric cars using vitamin C

Korean researchers have developed a new type of lithium–sulfur battery using vitamin C with a 20% improvement in performance over current ones.

A group of researchers led by Professor Lee Jae-young at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology said on Thursday that they succeeded in improving the energy capacity of lithium–sulfur batteries with vitamin C treated dual-layered graphene–sulfur.

Lithium-sulfur batteries are widely considered as a viable replacement for current lithium-ion batteries for electric cars because of its superior energy density. Yet, lithium-sulfur batteries have not been actively used in the field yet since there are a few problems to be resolved such as poor cycle performance and low charge/discharge rates.

However, the researchers showed that their vitamin C treated dual-layered cathode, which is composed of a sulfur active layer and a polysulfide absorption layer, can increase sulfur utilization dramatically resulting in a lithium-sulfur battery with a high specific capacity of over 600 mAh gsulfur (-1) after 100 cycles even under a high current rate of 1C.

Professor Lee said, “This development is meaningful in a sense that it can greatly improve low cycle performance of lithium-sulfur batteries, which is a big obstacle to commercialization of them,” adding, “we expect the new development will practically increase the adaptation of lithium-sulfur batteries to next-generation electric car batteries.”

The results of the development were published in the online version of ChemSusChem on April 29 with the title of “Improvement of energy capacity via Vitamin C-treated dual-layered graphene-sulfur cathodes in lithium sulfur battery”.

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