LithiumSulfur is the Next Battery Breakthrough

first_imgStay on target Additive Breakthrough Makes EV Batteries Suck Less in the ColdThe Battery in This Phone is Five Times Bigger Than Yours Technological progress is always being limited by something. Maybe a certain type of glass is too expensive. Maybe there’s just too much conflict over these conflict minerals. Or maybe researchers have become too tired to make phones curved for no reason.But you can always count on batteries to be one of tech’s biggest bottlenecks. As devices become more powerful they either drain more power faster or have to find new ways to become more efficient. Not too mention thinner mobile devices place limits on how big a battery can be. It leads to situations like putting bulky battery cases on phones to get more than a day’s worth of charge. The Nintendo Switch’s specs may be leaps and bounds better than past Nintendo handhelds but the battery life sure isn’t.Fortunately, tech can always be improved eventually, and batteries are no different. Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have developed promising new next-generation battery technology. The secret? Lithium-sulfur.You’re probably already familiar with recharging lithium-ion batteries. But we’re currently running up against their limitations. They can only hold so much energy, energy that is barely enough for modern tech. So we need something new.By adding sulfur to lithium the result is a battery that’s cheaper, lighter, more environmentally friendly and most importantly able to hold between three and five times the charge as lithium-ion by itself.However, other issues with the combination have made the tech tough to pursue. Lithium-sulfur batteries break down since sulfur isn’t great at being stable or conducting electricity. And you need a battery you can depend on.What the researchers have managed to do is coat the lithium-sulfur with a super thin metallic layer of the element molybdenum. This mitigates many of sulfur’s weakness like conductivity and stability. Through this process, lithium-sulfur batteries work and can theoretically be manufactured and used on a commercial scale.So when you start seeing new phones brag that they use long-lasting lithium-sulfur batteries, maybe pay attention, as long as we know they don’t also blow up.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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