Scientists at the University of Waterloo have designed a lithium-sulfur battery that, thanks to nanotechnology, is capable of 3 times the power of lithium-ion batteries with equal volume while remaining both lighter and cheaper to produce. Long-distance electric cars, anyone?
The different atomic structure of the battery and knowledge of nanotechnology are what make this battery different. They used “mesoporous carbon, a material that presents a highly uniform pore structure at nanoscale level,” to allow for a more efficient design:
The team assembled a nanostructure of carbon rods separated by empty channels, sulfur was then melted to fill the tiny voids thanks to capillary forces. All the spaces were uniformly filled with sulfur, thus maximizing the surface area in direct contact with carbon and boosting battery efficiency.
We’ve been needing a new battery technology for awhile now, especially for electric cars, so here’s hoping they can get these lithium-sulfur batteries into production as soon as possible and that they deliver on the possibilities we see here. If it really is capable of three times the batter life, we’re talking about something like a 730-mile range on a Tesla, 20 hours on a MacBook, or half a week on an iPod, all without added bulk or expense!