US laboratory develops new organic cathode materials to make lithium batteries more environmentally friendly
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According to foreign media reports, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory designed a new type of organic cathode material for lithium batteries. The material is based on Sulfur and is more energy efficient, more cost effective and more environmentally friendly than traditional cathode materials in lithium batteries.
Optimized cathode material
Lithium batteries provide energy for everyday products such as smartphones and electric vehicles, and as the demand for such products continues to grow, scientists have been studying how to optimize cathode materials to improve the overall performance of lithium battery systems.
In addition to addressing the energy challenges of battery systems, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory are also studying the material design of sustainable batteries. To find sustainable cathode materials that provide high energy density, scientists have chosen a safe and well-stocked element – Sulfur.
The National Synchronous Light Source 2 (NSLS-II) scientist at the Brookhaven Scientific User Facilities Office of the US Department of Energy said: "Sulfur can form many bonds, which can capture more lithium, thereby increasing energy density. And Sulfur is also better than cathode materials. The traditional elements are light, which allows electric vehicles to have longer cruising range."
When designing the new cathode material, the researchers chose an organic disulfide compound consisting of carbon, hydrogen, Sulfur and oxygen instead of heavy metals in traditional lithium batteries. Heavy metals are not very environmentally friendly. But while Sulfur batteries are safer and have higher energy densities, but will face other challenges.
Shadike said: "When the battery is charged and discharged, Sulfur can become a bad complex, dissolve in the electrolyte, and spread to the entire battery, causing adverse reactions. We designed a cathode material that allows Sulfur atoms attached to an organic pillar to stabilize the Sulfur."
The researchers said the study could improve the performance of high-performance lithium batteries that use Sulfur-based cathode materials.