New energy-dense lithium-sulfur battery works at extreme temperatures – New Atlas

by | Jul 4, 2022 | Energy

As part of their research into next-generation battery technology, scientists at University of California, San Diego are exploring designs that can function at extreme temperatures, and they’re beginning to make some significant inroads. In their latest study, the team demonstrates a lithium battery that can not only operate at freezing cold and scorching hot temperatures, but may store double the energy of current devices and be friendlier to the environment while it’s at it.Last year, we looked at an interesting breakthrough from the same group of researchers, which stemmed from an ability to manipulate the movement of ions in a lithium battery. This is facilitated by a reinvented electrolyte solution, which ferries the lithium ions between a battery’s two electrodes, the cathode and anode.The team found success with an electrolyte that formed weaker bonds with the lithium ions, which allowed for a more uniform distribution of them during charging. This weak-binding electrolyte was integrated into an experimental lithium battery with a high-density metal anode and a sulfur-based cathode that was able to operate at sub-zero temperatures while retaining much of its capacity.By continuing to experiment with its electrolyte recipe, the scientists have now developed a version that operates at the other end of the spectrum as well. The new electrolyte features lithium salt and dibutyl ether, a chemical compound with a boiling …

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