High energy density batteries that significantly reduce size and improve performance and cell life is the goal of the lithium-sulfur cell technology project led by Penn State and funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The $5 million, three-year grant is part of the DOE's Advanced Vehicle Research and Development program, which aims to improving fuel efficiency of next generation vehicles.
Penn State will work with EC Power, Johnson Controls, and Argonne National Laboratory to develop a battery that can provide 600 watt-hours per liter. Donghai Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Penn State, will lead the project.
The research team, which has already investigated this type of battery, plans to capitalize on previous work and extend the technology beyond lithium-ion batteries to include nanocomposite sulfur cathode and lithium-rich composite anode material. They will also develop a nonflammable electrolyte for these batteries that will extend cell cycling life and safety.
Johnson Controls and EC Power will create a cell technology to streamline manufacturing of safe, reliable and economical long lasting advanced cells.