|Specific energy||500 W·h/kg demonstrated|
|Energy density||350 W·h/l|
|Charge/discharge efficiency||C/5 nominal|
|Nominal cell voltage||cell voltage varies nonlinearly in the range 2.5–1.7 during discharge; batteries often packaged for 3V|
The lithium–sulfur battery (Li–S battery) is a rechargeable battery, notable for its high energy density. By virtue of the low atomic weight of lithium and moderate weight of sulfur, Li–S batteries are relatively light; about the density of water. They were demonstrated on the longest and highest-altitude solar-powered airplane flight in August, 2008.
Lithium–sulfur batteries may succeed lithium-ion cells because of their higher energy density and reduced cost from the use of sulfur. Currently the best Li-S batteries offer energy densities on the order of 500 W·h/kg, significantly better than most lithium-ion batteries which are in the 150 to 200 range. Li-S batteries with up to 1,500 charge and discharge cycles have been demonstrated, yet are not commercially available (as of early 2014).
Chemical processes in the Li–S cell include lithium dissolution from the anode surface (and incorporation into alkali metal polysulfide salts) during discharge, and reverse lithium plating to the anode while charging. This contrasts with conventional lithium-ion cells, where the lithium ions are intercalated in the anode and cathodes. Each sulfur atom can host two lithium ions. Typically, lithium-ion batteries accommodate only 0.5–0.7 lithium ions per host atom.Consequently Li-S allows for a much higher lithium storage density. Polysulfides are reduced on the cathode surface in sequence while the cell is discharging:
8 → Li
8 → Li
6 → Li
4 → Li
2S → Li
2 → Li
3 → Li
4 → Li
6 → Li
8 → S
These reactions are analogous to those in the sodium–sulfur battery.
Most use a carbon/sulfur cathode and a lithium anode. Sulfur is very cheap, but lacks electroconductivity. Sulfur alone is 5*10−30 S cm−1 at 25°C.[clarification needed] A carbon coating provides the missing electroconductivity. Carbon nanofibers provide an effective electron conduction path and structural integrity, at the disadvantage of higher cost.
One problem with the lithium–sulfur design is that when the sulfur in the cathode absorbs lithium, the Li2S has nearly double the volume of the original sulfur. This causes large mechanical stresses on cathode, which is a major cause of rapid degradation. This process reduces the contact between the carbon and the sulfur, and prevents the flow of lithium ions to the sulfur surface.
One of the primary shortfalls of most Li–S cells is unwanted reactions with the electrolytes. While S and Li
2S are relatively insoluble in most electrolytes, many intermediate polysulfides are not. Dissolving Li
n into electrolytes causes irreversible loss of active sulfur.
Because of the high potential energy density and the nonlinear discharge and charging response of the cell, a microcontroller and other safety circuitry is sometimes used along with voltage regulators to manage cell operation and prevent rapid discharge.
|Anode||Cathode||Date||Source||Specific Capacity after cycling||Notes|
|Polyethylene glycol coated, pitted mesoporous carbon||17 May 2009||University of Waterloo||1,110 mAh/g after 20 cycles at a current rate of 168 mA g-1||Minimal degradation during charge cycling. To retain polysulfides in the cathode, the surface was functionalized to repel (hydrophobic) polysulfides. In a test using a glyme solvent, a traditional sulfur cathode lost 96% of its sulfur over 30 cycles, while the experimental cathode lost only 25%.|
|Silicon nanowire||Sulfur-coated, disordered carbon nanotubes||2011||Stanford University||730mAh/g after 150 cycles (at 0.5C)||An electrolyte additive boosted the faraday efficiency from 85% to over 99%.|
|Silicon carbon||Sulfur||2013||Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS]]||? after 1,400 cycles|
|Copolymerized sulfur||2013||University of Arizona||823 mAh/g at 100 cycles||Uses “inverse vulcanization” on mostly sulfur with a small amount of 1,3-diisopropenylbenzene (DIB) additive|
2-encapsulated sulfur nanoparticles
|2013||Stanford University||721 mAh/g at 1,000 cycles (0.5C)||shell protects the sulfur-lithium intermediate from electrolyte solvent. Each cathode particle is 800 nanometers in diameter. Faraday efficiency of 98.4%.|
|Sulfur||June 2013||Oak Ridge National Laboratory||1200 mA·h/g at 300 cycles at 60°C (0.1C)
800 mA·h/g at 300 cycles at 60°C (1C)
|Solid lithium polysulfidophosphate electrolyte. Half the voltage of typical LIBs. Remaining issues include low electrolyte ionic conductivity and brittleness in the ceramic structure.|
|Lithium||Sulfur-graphene oxide nanocomposite with styrene-butadiene-carboxymethyl cellulose copolymer binder||2013||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory||700 mA·h/g at 1500 cycles (0.05C discharge)
400 mA·h/g at 1500 cycles (0.5C charge/ 1C discharge)
|Voltage between about 1.7 and 2.5 volts, depending on charge state. Lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide) dissolved in a mixture of nmethyl-(n-butyl) pyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)-imide (PYR14TFSI), 1,3-dioxolane (DOL), dimethoxyethane (DME) with 1 M lithium bis-(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI), and lithium nitrate (LiNO3). High porosity polypropylene separator. Specific energy is 500 Wh/kg (initial) and 250 Wh/kg at 1,500 cycles (C=1.0)|
- Zhang, Sheng S. "Liquid electrolyte lithium/sulfur battery: Fundamental chemistry, problems, and solutions" Journal of Power Sources 2013, vol. 231, 153-162. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.12.102
- Amos, J. (24 August 2008) "Solar plane makes record flight" BBC News
- Arumugam Manthiram, Yongzhu Fu, Yu-Sheng Su "Challenges and Prospects of Lithium–Sulfur Batteries" Acc. Chem. Res., 2013, volume 46, pp 1125–1134. doi:10.1021/ar300179v
- "New lithium/sulfur battery doubles energy density of lithium-ion". Gizmag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- Tudron, F.B., Akridge, J.R., and Puglisi, V.J. (2004) "Lithium-Sulfur Rechargeable Batteries: Characteristics, State of Development, and Applicability to Powering Portable Electronics" (Tucson, AZ: Sion Power)
- Bullis, Kevin (May 22, 2009). "Revisiting Lithium-Sulfur Batteries". Technology Review. Retrieved January 2010.
- Choi, Y.J.; Kim, K.W. (2008). "Improvement of cycle property of sulfur electrode for lithium/sulfur battery". Journal of Alloys and Compounds (Elsevier Science Sa) 449: 313–316. doi:10.1016/j.jallcom.2006.02.098.
- J.A. Dean, ed. (1985). Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (third ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 3–5.
- Choi, Y.J.; Ahn, J.H.; Ahn, H.J. (November 16–20). Effects of carbon coating on the electrochemical properties of sulfur cathode for lithium/sulfur cell. Elsevier Science Bv. pp. 548–552. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.02.053.
- Choi, Y. J.; Chung, Y. D.; Baek, C. Y.; Kim, K. W.; Ahn, H. J.; Ahn, J. H. (2008). "Effects of carbon coating on the electrochemical properties of sulfur cathode for lithium/sulfur cell". Journal of Power Sources 184 (2): 548. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.02.053.
- Brian Dodson, "New lithium/sulfur battery doubles energy density of lithium-ion", gizmag, 1 December 2013
- Jeong, S.S.; Lim, Y.; ect. (June 18–23). "Electrochemical properties of lithium sulfur cells using PEO polymer electrolytes prepared under three different mixing conditions". Journal of Power Sources (Elsevier Science Bv) 174: 745–750. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2007.06.108.
- Akridge, J.R. (October 2001) "Lithium Sulfur Rechargeable Battery Safety" Battery Power Products & Technology
- Xiulei Ji, Kyu Tae Lee, and Linda F. Nazar. (17 May 2009)"A highly ordered nanostructured carbon-sulphur cathode for lithium-sulphur batteries." Nature Materials
- Guangyuan, Zheng; Yuan Yang; Judy J. Cha; Seung Sae Hong; Yi Cui (14 September 2011). "Hollow Carbon Nanofiber-Encapsulated Sulfur Cathodes for High Specific Capacity Rechargeable Lithium Batteries". Nano Letters: 4462–4467. Bibcode:2011NanoL..11.4462Z. doi:10.1021/nl2027684.
- Keller, Sarah Jane (October 4, 2011). "Sulfur in hollow nanofibers overcomes challenges of lithium-ion battery design". News (Stanford, CA, USA: Stanford University). Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- "Researchers increase lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries". Gizmag.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- Chung, W. J.; Griebel, J. J.; Kim, E. T.; Yoon, H.; Simmonds, A. G.; Ji, H. J.; Dirlam, P. T.; Glass, R. S.; Wie, J. J.; Nguyen, N. A.; Guralnick, B. W.; Park, J.; Somogyi, Á. D.; Theato, P.; MacKay, M. E.; Sung, Y. E.; Char, K.; Pyun, J. (2013). "The use of elemental sulfur as an alternative feedstock for polymeric materials". Nature Chemistry 5 (6): 518–524. doi:10.1038/nchem.1624. PMID 23695634.
- Radical approach to turn sulfur into polymers
- SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (6 Posts) (2013-01-08). "World-Record Battery Performance Achieved With Egg-Like Nanostructures". CleanTechnica. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Wei Seh, Z.; Li, W.; Cha, J. J.; Zheng, G.; Yang, Y.; McDowell, M. T.; Hsu, P. C.; Cui, Y. (2013). "Sulphur–TiO2 yolk–shell nanoarchitecture with internal void space for long-cycle lithium–sulphur batteries". Nature Communications 4: 1331. doi:10.1038/ncomms2327. PMID 23299881.
- Lin, Z.; Liu, Z.; Fu, W.; Dudney, N. J.; Liang, C. (2013). "Lithium Polysulfidophosphates: A Family of Lithium-Conducting Sulfur-Rich Compounds for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries". Angewandte Chemie International Edition: n/a. doi:10.1002/anie.201300680.
- "All-solid lithium-sulfur battery stores four times the energy of lithium-ions". Gizmag.com. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "New lithium/sulfur battery doubles energy density of lithium-ion". Gizmag.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- "OXIS Energy". OXIS Energy. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- "Sion Power". Sion Power. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
- "PolyPlus Lithium Sulfur". Polyplus.com. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
- "Winston Battery Limited". En.winston-battery.com. Retrieved 2013-04-06.