Imagine owning a smartphone that had a five-day battery charge. Researchers from Australia’s Monash University stated earlier this month they are working to make that happen with a new and efficient lithium-sulfur battery. They also claim such a battery could power an electric car for over 600 miles, or over 1,000km, on a single charge.
The Monash University report, (via Engadget) states that the researchers used the same materials found in standard lithium-ion batteries for their prototypes. However, they did make changes for “the design of sulfur cathodes”. This is supposed to make the lithium-sulfur battery able to handle “higher stress loads,” but without cutting back on its performance or capacity. At the same time, this new battery is supposed to have a lower impact on the environment compared to standard lithium-ion batteries. Because this new battery is water-based, the cost of making it should also be reduced.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Science Advances earlier this month. They have already filed a patent for the battery’s manufacturing process, and prototypes have been made in an R&D center in Germany. The next step in the battery’s development will take place later this year in Australia, where the lithium-sulfur batteries will be tested in cars and solar grids.
Of course, we have heard about research efforts to make longer-lasting batteries for years now. Batteries based on graphene material have been touted as the next generation of power for mobile devices for a number of years. However, it may be a long time before that promising technology actually makes it to the public. It may be the same situation with this five-day battery as well. One thing is for sure: whoever cracks the formula for mass-market batteries with longer life could cause a fundamental change in all electronic technology.