1 May 2012
At the university of Munich, research is currently ongoing to develop lithium batteries that utilize sulfur molecules to achieve a lighter weight and the greatest possible efficiency.
The current lithium-ion batteries are very heavy. For an mp3 player, for example, which has only a small battery, this is not a problem. Electric cars, however, have an action radius of a mere 200 km, because the batteries would otherwise be too heavy to power the car. A sulfur cathode has a theoretical specific capacity of 1672 mAh/g. This is almost triple the capacity of prevailing lithium batteries. In an electric car, this would mean an increased action radius of up to around 600 km.
However, the problem with sulfur is that it is highly intractable, which means that it crumbles easily. The university of Munich is working to solve this problem with the help of nanotechnology.
If all goes well, these batteries may be used in cars, as well as to reduce the weight of products such as electric bicycles, laptops and mobile phones.
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