Indian researchers develop eco-friendly lithium batteries
Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) on Monday announced that its researchers have created environment-friendly lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries.
The research will aid the production of cost-effective, compact, energy-efficient, safe and environment-friendly Li-S batteries, offering a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries used at present. The Li-S battery technology has the potential to aid multi-billion dollar industries, including tech gadgets, drones, electric vehicles (EV), etc, that depend on such batteries.
The research reveals that this Li-S battery technology — once put into production — will be significantly cheaper and sustainable while offering up to three times higher energy density with intrinsic flame-retardant properties.
“The research focusses on the principles of Green Chemistry to find a solution that addresses the requirements of industries and the environment simultaneously,” study lead researcher Bimlesh Lochab, Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry at Shiv Nadar University, said in a statement.
According to the team, the new battery technology synthesizes 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 the 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 from bio-renewable feed-stock that is easily available, non-toxic and environment-friendly.
The research innovatively used eugenol (derived from clove oil) copolymer, which is also environmentally sustainable, halogen-free, flame-retardant and reduces the combustible propensities, making the battery remarkably safe to use.
“This breakthrough research by Dr. Lochab underlines the need for a clean energy solution at a time when our dependence on battery-operated devices has increased manifold,” said Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University.