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[en] Highlights: • We modelled the rate capability of a Li-S cell based on mass-transport limitation • The model predicts a discharged Li-S cell to regain capacity upon short relaxation • Modelled rate capability and capacity recovery effect validated with measurements - Abstract: Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery could bring a step-change in battery technology with a potential specific energy density of 500 - 600 Wh/kg. A key challenge for further improving the specific energy-density of Li-S cells is to understand the mechanisms behind reduced sulfur utilisation at low electrolyte loadings and high discharge currents. While several Li-S models have been developed to explore the discharge mechanisms of Li-S cells, they so far fail to capture the discharge profiles at high currents. In this study, we propose that the slow ionic transport in concentrated electrolyte is limiting the rate capability of Li-S cells. This transport-limitation mechanism is demonstrated through a one-dimensional Li-S model which qualitatively captures the discharge capacities of a sulfolane-based Li-S cell at different currents. Furthermore, our model predicts that a discharged Li-S cell is able regain some capacity with a short period of relaxation. This capacity recovery phenomenon is validated experimentally for different discharge currents and relaxation durations. The transport-limited discharge behavior of Li-S cells highlights the importance of optimizing the electrolyte loading and electrolyte transport property in Li-S cells.
[en] Li-ion batteries are promising power sources for portable electronics and electric vehicles due to their high energy density. However, its application in grid storage is limited due to high cost and low abundance of Li resources. Na-ion and K-ion batteries have attracted wide scientific attention for their elemental abundance. The possible use of sodium based intercalation system (e.g. NaxCoO2) for both Na-ion and K-ion intercalation. Explored Fe-based mixed polyanionic cathode material, Na4Fe3(PO4)2(P2O7) as a multifunctional cathode material for Na+ and K+ ion batteries
[en] The German Artificial Sphincter System project aims at the development of an implantable sphincter prosthesis driven by a piezoelectrically actuated micropump. The system has been designed to be fully implantable, i.e. the power supply is provided by a rechargeable lithium polymer battery. In order to provide sufficient battery duration and to limit battery dimensions, special effort has to be made to minimize power consumption of the whole system and, in particular, of the piezoactuator driver circuitry. Inductive charge recovery can be used to recover part of the charge stored within the actuator. We are going to present a simplified inductor-based circuit capable of voltage inversion across the actuator without the need of an additional negative voltage source. The dimension of the inductors required for such a concept is nevertheless significant. We therefore present a novel alternative concept, called direct switching, where the equivalent capacitance of the actuator is charged directly by a step-up converter and discharged by a step-down converter. We achieved superior performance compared to a simple inductor-based driver with the advantage of using small-size chip inductors. As a term of comparison, the performance of the aforementioned drivers is compared to a conventional driver that does not implement any charge recovery technique. With our design we have been able to achieve more than 50% reduction in power consumption compared to the simplest conventional driver. The new direct switching driver performs 15% better than an inductor-based driver. A novel, whole-system SPICE simulation is presented, where both the driving circuit and the piezoactuator are modeled making use of advanced nonlinear models. Such a simulation is a precious tool to design and optimize piezoactuator drivers
[en] This review article mainly encompasses on the state-of-the-art electrolytes for lithium–sulfur batteries. Different strategies have been employed to address the issues of lithium–sulfur batteries across the world. One among them is identification of electrolytes and optimization of their properties for the applications in lithium–sulfur batteries. The electrolytes for lithium–sulfur batteries are broadly classified as (i) non-aqueous liquid electrolytes, (ii) ionic liquids, (iii) solid polymer, and (iv) glass-ceramic electrolytes. This article presents the properties, advantages, and limitations of each type of electrolytes. Also, the importance of electrolyte additives on the electrochemical performance of Li–S cells is discussed.
[en] Recent progress in improving Li–S batteries’ cathodes, anodes, and electrolytes via different approaches is summarized. The poor conductivity of sulfur cathodes, the dissolution of polysulfide intermediates, and the high reactivity of metal Li anodes currently motivate a great deal of research. Urgent challenges concerning Li anodes are also emphasized. (topical review)
[en] The effect of solvent component on the discharge performance of lithium-sulfur (Li/S) cell and the optimal composition of ternary electrolyte for the improved discharge performance of the cell have been investigated. The capacity value and capacity stability with cycle are dependent on the nature of solvent as well as the composition of mixed solvent. The change trend of discharge performance as a function of content of each solvent component is studied. Capacity value increases as the 1,3-dioxolane (DOX) content decreases. Average discharge voltage shows larger value when the 1,2-dimethoxy ethane (DME) content is small. Finally, we have obtained the optimal solvent composition by using a statistical method
[en] Highlights: •At normal rate, LiPS soluble reaction pathway dominates the discharge process. •Reduction of sulfur to Li2S8 is not inhibited by high Li2S8 concentration. •Subsequent LiPS electrochemical reactions are restricted by LiPS solubility. •Specific energy of the Li-S cell was reevaluated considering LiPS solubility. -- Abstract: Although the cathode of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries has a theoretical specific capacity of 1,672 mAh g−1, its practical capacity is much smaller than this value and depends on the electrolyte/sulfur ratio. The operation of Li-S batteries under lean electrolyte conditions can be challenging, especially in the case when the solubility of lithium polysulfide (LiPS) sets an upper bound for polysulfide dissolution. In this work, specially designed cathode structures and electrolyte configurations were built in order to analyze the effects of LiPS solubility on cell capacity. Two reaction pathways involving the reduction of LiPS in liquid and solid phase are proposed and analyzed. We show that at discharge rates above 0.4 mA cm−2 the reaction in the liquid phase dominates the discharge process. Once the electrolyte becomes saturated, the solid phase LiPS cannot be further reduced and does not contribute to the capacity of the cells. This phenomenon prevents Li-S batteries from achieving their high theoretical specific capacity. Finally, the specific energy of the Li-S cell is reevaluated and discussed considering the limitation imposed by LiPS solubility.
[en] Electrolyte choice is an important decision on the quest for higher-energy batteries. Besides general guidelines on the required properties of an electrolyte suitable for use in lithium–sulfur batteries, the influence of more specific physicochemical properties on its characteristics is not well understood. For this purpose, binary mixtures based on the [DEME][TFSI] and dioxolane electrolyte system for lithium–sulfur batteries was investigated in this work. Selected physicochemical properties were determined for different mixtures of solvents and lithium salt concentrations. All the electrolytes prepared were also tested in the lithium–sulfur battery system. The capacity, Coulombic efficiency, overpotentials and impedance spectra were analyzed and a connection between them and the determined electrolyte properties elucidated. We show that the electrolyte's conductivity does not have a direct connection to any of the battery system properties measured. The highest specific capacities were obtained with batteries compromising 1.0 M LiTFSI and the highest ratio of dioxolane in the binary solvent mixture. On the other hand, the best Coulombic efficiencies were obtained with batteries having high ratios of ionic liquid. Resistance and overpotential are connected parameters and are a function of the ionic liquid content. None of the monitored parameters prevail, since the best electrochemical performance in terms of specific capacity and stability was obtained with the 1.0 M LiTFSI in X[DEME][TFSI] = 0.199 electrolyte.
[en] Polysulfide shuttling has been the primary cause of failure in lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery cycling. In this paper, we demonstrate an nucleophilic substitution reaction between polysulfides and binder functional groups can unexpectedly immobilizes the polysulfides. The substitution reaction is verified by UV–visible spectra and X-ray photoelectron spectra. The immobilization of polysulfide is in situ monitored by synchrotron based sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption spectra. The resulting electrodes exhibit initial capacity up to 20.4 mAh/cm2, corresponding to 1199.1 mAh/g based on a micron-sulfur mass loading of 17.0 mg/cm2. The micron size sulfur transformed into nano layer coating on the cathode binder during cycling. Directly usage of nano-size sulfur promotes higher capacity of 33.7 mAh/cm2, which is the highest areal capacity reported in Li-S battery. Finally, this enhance performance is due to the reduced shuttle effect by covalently binding of the polysulfide with the polymer binder.
[en] Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery is a promising energy storage system due to its high energy density, cost effectiveness, and environmental friendliness of sulfur. However, there are still a number of technical challenges, such as low Coulombic efficiency and poor long-term cycle life, impeding the commercialization of Li-S battery. The electrochemical performance of Li-S battery is closely related with the interfacial reactions occurring between hosting substrate and active sulfur species, which are poorly conducting at fully oxidized and reduced states. Here, we correlate the relationship between the performance and interfacial reactions in the Li-S battery system, using a hollow carbon nanosphere (HCNS) with highly graphitic character as hosting substrate for sulfur. With an appropriate amount of sulfur loading, HCNS/S composite exhibits excellent electrochemical performance because of the fast interfacial reactions between HCNS and the polysulfides. However, further increase of sulfur loading leads to increased formation of highly resistive insoluble reaction products (Li2S2/Li2S), which limits the reversibility of the interfacial reactions and results in poor electrochemical performances. These findings demonstrate the importance of the interfacial reaction reversibility in the whole electrode system on achieving high capacity and long cycle life of sulfur cathode for Li-S batteries.