ASX-listed battery manufacturing company Li-S Energy has achieved a 45% increase in volumetric energy density with a new 20-layer semi-solid state lithium sulphur battery.
The company reports the 20-layer battery cells were produced in Li-S’ phase two facility in Geelong, Victoria utilising the third generation (GEN3) semi-solid state lithium sulphur technology.
Li-S says the new 20-layer cells are built using a low-flammability electrolyte, which the company reports will make them safer than traditional lithium sulphur and lithium-ion cells that utilise a ‘higher’ flammability electrolyte.
“This development of these new battery cells is another validation of the strength of our scientific and technical teams”
Utilising its patent protected Li-nanomesh technology, the cells also incorporate boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) into the cell construction to reduce dendrite growth to further improve safety and cycle life.
Key benefits of the GEN3 energy battery system over (GEN2) sulphur cells include a ‘significant’ improvement in the volumetric energy density as a result of a lower porosity cathode material; a ‘higher’ gravimetric energy density through optimised cathode material composition; and enhanced safety with the use of low flammability electrolyte.
In addition to ‘high’ gravimetric energy density which delivers a lighter weight battery, Li-S says the volumetric energy density is also considered as ‘important’ by its target industries.
The company notes it offers the potential to ‘significantly’ reduce the physical size of the battery packs needed for the same energy stored, or conversely to ‘significantly’ increase the energy stored in a given space compared to GEN2 cells.
Li-S reports the new GEN3 cells are currently demonstrating a gravimetric energy density in its laboratories of over 400 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), and a volumetric density of 540 watt hours per litre (Wh/l). Compared to current lithium-ion cells this is nearly double the gravimetric energy density and is comparable for volumetric energy density.
The company says in practical terms this means that the cells are now the same size as lithium-ion batteries, but half the weight.
Commenting on the increase in volumetric density, Li-S Energy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lee Finniear said: “This development of these new battery cells is another validation of the strength of our scientific and technical teams, and our collaboration with Deakin University and other Australian and international institutions.
This outcome demonstrates the strength of our progress over the last year. In the coming months we look forward to commencing the production of commercial samples for our partners.”
Li-S reports its development team is currently working to develop the cell test cycle and characterisation results to produce an industry standard datasheet on the new 20-layer cells.
Based on inquiries to date, the company anticipates this will be of ‘significant commercial interest to ‘high-value’ partners in sectors such as drones and eAviation, which are all sectors Li-S already has established collaboration partners.
Based on growth forecasts for the drone and eAviation markets by international research organisations IDTechEX, and Precedence Research, Li-S estimates the combined eAviation and drone battery market will exceed $48 billion per year by 2035.
In addition to the GEN3 cells, the company reports it will continue its research and development (R&D) on full solid-state electrolytes in a co-funded project within the ARC Research Hub for Safe and Reliable Energy at Deakin University where Li-S intends to create a full solid-state Li-S battery.
Li-S Energy is an Australian battery manufacturing company focused on developing lithium sulphur and lithium metal batteries for use in renewable energy and electric vehicles.