According to the World Economic Forum, a circular battery value chain is a major driver to meet the Paris Agreement, as batteries could enable 30% of the required reductions in carbon emissions in the transport, power sectors.
Shiv Nadar University, research-focused university and an Institution of Eminence (IoE), today introduced Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology. The research aims to assist in the production of more cost-effective, safer, more energy-efficient, and environment-friendly Li-S batteries, as a viable alternative to Lithium-ion batteries. The Li-S battery technology employs principles of Green Chemistry, incorporating the 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. This technology can aid industries including electric vehicles, tech gadgets, drones, and more.
The university introduced the tech after research of five years by Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Dr Bimlesh Lochab. According to the research, Li-S battery technology will be significantly cheaper and sustainable, while offering up to three times higher energy density with intrinsic flame-retardant properties.
Dr Lochab’s team has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay’s Professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, Dr Sagar Mitra, to use this 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. In addition, 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.