However current batteries that are in use are made from Lithium-ion that require rare earth materials such as nickel and cobalt, essentially fossil fuels. Not only is this bad for the environment but the supply of these metals is limited with prices rising, in recent years the social and environmental damage can be seen.
As society aims to move away and replace fossil fuels with green energy new improved methods of storing energy is required for the new electric generation of technologies such as electronic cars.
A new method of storing energy is lithium-sulfur batteries, in theory, they store a significant amount more than typical batteries, as much as six times more. The batteries can be designed from cheap materials that are readily available around the world.
Previous use of lithium-sulfur batteries has been dismissed as impractical as they are able to store so much energy that the battery physically breaks under the stress. However, following the research of a new design these new forms of batteries potentially could be rolled out in the next few years.
This new technology is vital as the materials for standard Lithium-ion are predicted to face shortages in the near future as early as 2022.
Sulfur batteries would not face this problem as sulfur is common and cheap, it is the 16th most abundant material on earth with miners producing 70 million tonnes a year.
Currently, the new type of batteries is still in a research stage with teams working with industry partners to scale up the breakthrough. Findings and potential are very promising and as methods are developed prepare for commercial level production the product could be ready in the next two to four years.
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