Brisbane company launch lithium-sulfur cells with half weight of lithium-ion batteries


Publicly listed Queensland company Li-S Energy has been working with Victoria’s Deakin University and PPK Group, among others, to develop lithium sulfur batteries capable of enduring beyond the chemistry’s notoriously short life cycle.

The company has today announced its GEN3 Li-S Energy battery system, which it says significantly improves volumetric energy density as a result of a lower porosity cathode material; has higher gravimetric energy density attained through its optimised cathode materials, and has better safety due to its low flammability electrolyte.

The 20-layer cells were produced in Li-S Energy’s “semi-automated” facility in Geelong, Victoria where test cell production is anticipated later this year, once the company’s new Phase 3 facility is complete.

Li-S Energy says its third generation cells are currently demonstrating a gravimetric energy density in its laboratories of over 400 Wh/kg, and a volumetric energy density of 540 Wh/l. In other words, the cells are the same physical size as existing lithium-ion batteries but half the weight, according to the company.

Trying to capitalise on this feature, the company’s main target sectors include drones and “eAviation” – electric aviation.

On the issue of durability, Li-S Energy’s cells incorporate both its patented “Li-nanomesh” technology and Boron Nitride Nanotubes to reduce dendrite growth. Its team is currently developing the cell cycle testing and characterisation results to produce an industry standard datasheet on the GEN3 cells. 

“The 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,” Li-S Energy CEO, Lee Finniear, said. “In the coming months we look forward to commencing the production of commercial samples for our partners.”

In addition to then new cells, the company is progressing its co-funded project at Deakin University, part of the ARC Research Hub for Safe and Reliable Energy, in which it is seeking to

jointly create a full-solid-state lithium sulfur battery. 

The company also recently announced Apple’s former lead battery scientist, Dr Paul Bayley, had been appointed as its Research and Development Manager.

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