Indian researchers develop new lithium-sulfur battery

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India

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A team of researchers in India have introduced an eco-friendly and energy-efficient battery that is being touted as “the future” of batteries — not only for the automobile world but for drones and other tech gadgets, too.

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Researchers tout energy efficiency, cost savings

Researchers at the Shiv Nadar University and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay claim to have developed a technology for production of this eco-friendly lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery. The researchers claim the battery is three times more energy-efficient and cost-effective than the Li-S batteries currently in use, the Hindu Business Line reported.

The Li-S battery technology deploys the principles of “green chemistry,” the Financial Express reported.

The technology incorporates the use of: byproducts from the petroleum industry (sulfur); agro-waste elements and copolymers, such as cardanol (a byproduct of cashew nut processing); and eugenol (clove oil) as cathodic materials.

The university said it decided to introduce the technology after five years of research by Dr. Bimlesh Lochab, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. The university claimed the Li-S battery technology would be significantly cheaper and sustainable. while offering up to three times higher energy density and intrinsic flame-retardant properties.

For this research, Lochab’s team had tied-up with the IIT-Bombay team of Dr. Sagar Mitra, professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering.

New features

So, how is this battery different from what’s available on the market?

It synthesizes a bio-based molecule and also boasts of a new type of cathode for Li-S batteries. These developments can help push the promising battery technology to higher performance levels.

“The research will aid the production of cost-effective, compact, energy-efficient, safe and environment-friendly Li-S batteries, offering a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries commonly used at present,” Shiv Nadar University said in an official release.

Sulfur in the battery comes from industrial waste. Meanwhile, the cardanol comes from bio-renewable feedstock.

In addition, the eugenol (derived from clove oil) copolymer is also environmentally sustainable, halogen-free and flame-retardant, all of which make the battery safe to use.

When this tech will be commercially exploited, this new Li-S tech-based battery will have a longer life and can be manufactured in very small units. That means those benefiting from it will include technologists who make gadgets requiring a power source.

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