Propelling Research to a Practical Level: New Challenges in High Energy Density Li-S Battery

Primary author: Shuo Feng
Faculty sponsor: Yuehe Lin

Primary college/unit: Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Campus: Pullman


Lithium-sulfur battery (Li-S) has been intensively studied in the past years due to its high theoretical energy density and economic benefit. However, there are still several obstacles that greatly limit its practical application such as low conductivity, large volume change and polysulfides shuttling. It is widely reported that nano materials can solve these problems and significantly improve batteries’ performance. Despite the efforts, many of the results are derived from an ideal condition, that is, a low sulfur loading ( 10 µL/mgs). The insufficient active materials as well as the large amount of electrolyte not only results in a low practical energy density but also glosses over some challenges in Li-S batteries. Hence, a high sulfur loading cathode (>4 mg/cm2) and a lean electrolyte condition (= 4 µL/mgs) should be determined in order to deliver repeatable results and reliable conclusions. In this poster, we demonstrate various strategies to achieve high energy density Li-S battery and elucidate the new challenges in this field. Moreover, by investigating the distinct phenomenon under flooded and lean electrolyte condition, we develop a reasonable test protocol and propel Li-S battery research to a practical level.

This work was supported in part through the PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program (SF).