Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and Shiv Nadar University claim to have developed a technology for production of environment friendly Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries which will be three times more energy efficient and cost effective than Lithium-ion batteries commonly used at present. According to the team, the Li-S battery technology leverages principles of green chemistry, incorporating usage of by-products from the petroleum industry (Sulfur), agro-waste elements and copolymers such as cardanol (a by-product of cashew nut processing) and eugenol (clove oil) as cathodic materials.
- The researchers said the technology has the potential to aid multi-billion dollar industries including tech gadgets, drones, electric vehicles (EV) and several more that depend on such batteries.
- The research focusses on principles of green chemistry to find a solution that addresses requirements of industries and the environment, simultaneously.
- The capability of three times more energy density, coupled with being a significantly safer technology, holds the promise of accelerating the adoption of clean, battery-led energy across multiple domains, Bimlesh Lochab, Associate Professor at Shiv Nadar University said.
- Lochab's team has partnered with Sagar Mitra, IIT Bombay's Professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, to use the research for the development of a Li-S battery prototype.
- The new battery technology synthesises a bio-based molecule, capable of commercial-scale production.
- The research includes a new type of cathode for Li-S batteries, which can help push the promising battery technology to higher performance levels.
- The use of cardanol for Sulfur-based structures as an unconventional application to create cathode materials in this next generation Li-S battery technology has exhibited enhanced capacity retention (among the highest charge capacities reported) and longer battery life in a significantly smaller battery unit.
- The Sulfur for the battery is sourced from industrial waste and cardanol is sourced from bio-renewable feed-stock that is easily available, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.