Fundamental developments of lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulphur batteries by using redox mediators

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Chemistry

Abstract

Cheap, safe and high-energy batteries are required for applications such as the electrification of transport, the large-scale storage of energy from renewable resources and consumer portable devices. Lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulphur batteries are very promising candidates because they have the potential to store more than 5 times higher energy than today's lithium-ion batteries of the same weight and volume.
Currently, the performance of lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulphur batteries is limited by several fundamental challenges. This project will develop an experimental-based physical-chemical understanding of the underlying processes and will develop tailored solutions to overcome these problems.
Our approach will be to fundamentally change the reaction mechanism in order to boost battery performance. Homogeneous catalysts capable of transferring several electrons will be explored with the aim of eliminating problematic reaction intermediates. This is expected to not only enhance reaction kinetics but also to suppress degradation reactions. Novel electrolytes will be developed which are designed to provide ultrafast charge transport of the homogeneous catalysts. Novel lithium protection approaches will also be explored, which are designed to suppress unwanted reactions on the lithium electrode as well as enhancing the safety of these batteries.
In conclusion, this project aims to achieve a step change in rechargeable lithium batteries based on a full mechanistic understanding and tailored innovative approaches.

Planned Impact

The project aims to develop lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulphur batteries able to deliver 5 times higher energy than lithium-ion batteries of the same weight or volume. Since the essential components of these batteries (lithium, oxygen and sulphur) are cheap and abundant, the cost of these batteries could be very low. Moreover, this project will investigate stable lithium-protection approaches to make these batteries very safe. In conclusion, these batteries stand a good chance of becoming tomorrow's battery of choice in a number of important applications, such as the electrification of transport, the storage of energy from renewable resources and consumer portable devices. Therefore, these batteries could make a huge contribution to the achievement of UK's ambitious climate change and energy sustainability targets, as well as securing UK's energy supply.
Lithium-sulphur batteries are currently being commercialised in the UK by Oxis Energy (http://www.oxisenergy.com/). Current commercial applications for lithium-sulphur batteries include high driving range electric vehicles, solar energy storage and lightweight batteries for defence. Improvement in the performance of these batteries will be essential in order to consolidate and expand their share in the market. Improvements in the performance of lithium-oxygen batteries will be important in order to promote the involvement of the UK industry in this promising area.
In addition, research on lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulphur batteries is beneficial for the development of other important systems, such as lithium-ion batteries, metal anode batteries and dye sensitised solar cells.
The results of this project will therefore be of significant value to a large number of UK academics and companies interested in the development of energy storage systems. Garcia-Araez has already established relationships with several companies working in this field, including Oxis Energy, Qinetiq, DSTL, SHARP, and HMGCC. This has shown that the project would be relevant for industry and provides a platform for realising the potential economic benefits of the project.
In conclusion, developing high energy lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulphur batteries will pave the way for the transition to a clean, safe and affordable energy system as well as strengthening the UK economic competitiveness and maintaining UK energy security.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Lithium oxygen and lithium sulfur batteries are promising candidates for the next generation of rechargeable batteries since they have the potential to deliver a very high energy from an small mass or volume. This project is very important for the development of these challenging new chemistries, since it contributes to provide a better understanding on the battery reactions and mechanism, as well as investigating novel approaches that leads to enhanced battery performance.
Exploitation Route The fundamental advances obtained within this project could be used to develop commercial batteries with high energy and safety.
Sectors Chemicals,Energy,Environment

URL http://www.southampton.ac.uk/chemistry/research/projects/fundamental-development-of-lithium-superoxide-and-lithium-sulfur-batteries.page?
 
Description We have achieved a much better understanding of the methodology required to achieve high performance lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulfur batteries using redox mediators. The research has also benefit the development of other types of batteries such as Na-ion, Li-ion, etc. The results have been communicated in publications, international conferences, outreach activities and informal meetings with companies and other academics.
Sector Energy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Degradation
Amount £12,500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R042012/1 
Organisation The Faraday Institution 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2021
 
Description FETOPEN
Amount € 3,000,000 (EUR)
Funding ID FETOPEN-01-2016-2017 SALBAGE 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2017 
End 10/2021
 
Description Feasibility research into composite carbon electrodes for sodium-ion batteries
Amount £154,000 (GBP)
Funding ID TS/R013055/1 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 02/2019
 
Description Feasibility research into composite carbon electrodes for sodium-ion batteries
Amount £196,000 (GBP)
Funding ID TS/S023232/1 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2019 
End 11/2020
 
Description Innovate UK Energy Catalyst Early-Stage Awards
Amount £194,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P019099/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2017
 
Description International collaboration award
Amount £222,000 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Society of Chemistry 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description LiSTAR
Amount £10,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/T012404/1 
Organisation The Faraday Institution 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 09/2023
 
Description thermalrunaway
Amount £1,200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R021295/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Soton-HMGCC 
Organisation Her Majesty's Government Communications
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Developed new set-up for analysis of gas evolution and performed measurements with selected Li-ion battery electrodes to test effect of different manufacturing approaches.
Collaborator Contribution Provided expert advice on Li-ion battery commercial standards and funding of a PhD studentship.
Impact Improving in understanding of gas evolution from Li-ion batteries
Start Year 2018
 
Description 20th Topical Meeting of the ISE (Buenos Aires)- Invited talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 20th Topical Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry (Buenos Aires). An invited talk by N Garcia-Araez titled "Using redox mediators for Li-S and Li-O2 batteries and Li recycling"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://topical20.ise-online.org/
 
Description Electrochem2017 keynote presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Electrochem2017. Talk presented by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Using redox mediators for Li-S and Li-O2 batteries and Li recycling"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Electrochem2018 oral presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Electrochem2018. Talk presented by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Understanding the effect of electrolyte in Li-S batteries: analytical and electrochemical tools to quantify polysulfide formation"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/electrochem/
 
Description IBA 2020 invited talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact -International Battery Association (IBA) meeting 2020. Invited talk by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Understanding synergetic effects of electrode structure and electrolyte composition in metal-sulfur batteries"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.iba2020.org/
 
Description ISE annual meeting 2017 oral presentation by R. Raccichini 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ISE annual meeting 2017 oral presentation by R. Raccichini titled "Conductivity, Viscosity and Ionic Dissociation of LiTFSI-1,3 Dioxolane Electrolyte Solutions: a Case Study for Li-S Battery Applications"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://annual68.ise-online.org/
 
Description ISE annual meeting 2018 oral presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The international society of electrochemistry (ISE) meeting in 2018. Talked presented by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Understanding the effect of electrolyte in Li-S batteries: analytical and electrochemical tools to quantify polysulfide formation".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://annual69.ise-online.org/
 
Description ISE annual meeting 2018 oral presentation by L. Furness 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The international society of electrochemistry (ISE) meeting in 2018. Talk presented by L. Furness titled "Measurements of the conductivity of electrolytes contained within porous electrodes and separators"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://annual69.ise-online.org/
 
Description ISE annual meeting 2018 poster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The international society of electrochemistry (ISE) meeting in 2018. N. Garcia-Araez presented a poster titled "Why GITT can provide wrong values of diffusion coefficientand how to avoid it"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://annual69.ise-online.org/
 
Description ISE annual meeting 2019 invited talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) meeting 2019. Invited talk by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Promoting the desired reactions in metal-oxygen batteries using redox mediators"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://annual70.ise-online.org/
 
Description ISE annual meeting 2019 poster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) meeting 2019. Poster presentation by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Simple Impedance Analysis of Porous Electrodes for the Rational Development of Metal-Sulfur Batteries"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://annual70.ise-online.org/
 
Description LiSM3 2016 invited talk by J. Owen 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact LiSM3 2016. Invited talk by J. Owen titled "Kinetics and Mass Transport Effects in Li-S Batteries"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.lism3.org/
 
Description LiSM3 2017 -oral presentation by J. Dibden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact LiSM3 2017. Oral presentation by J. Dibden titled "A Quantitative Tool to Predict the Phase Composition of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.lism3.org/
 
Description LiSM3 2017 oral presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Li-SM3 2017. An oral presentation by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Qualitative analysis of GITT measurements of Li-S batteries"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.lism3.org/
 
Description MRS Fall meeting 2019 Invited presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall 2019 meeting. Invited presentation by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Unsuitable electrolytes made suitable for Li-O2 batteries with the use of redox mediators"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.mrs.org/fall2019
 
Description NECEM 2019 invited talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Conference on Energy Materials and Interfaces (NECEM), Invited talk by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Promoting the desired reactions in metal-oxygen batteries using redox mediators"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/necem/
 
Description Oxford ECS Student Symposium 2017, Plenary lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Oxford ECS Student Symposium. Plenary lecture given by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Using redox mediators for Li-S and Li-O2 batteries and Li recycling"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science and Engineering Day 2017 outreach electrochemical activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science and Engineering Day 2017, outreach activity about electrochemistry research demonstrated by J. Frith, W. Richardson, J. Dibden, N. Meddings, N. Garcia-Araez and others.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.southampton.ac.uk/per/university/festival/science-and-engineering-day.page
 
Description Science and Engineering Day 2019 outreach electrochemical activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science and Engineering Day 2019, outreach activity about electrochemistry research demonstrated by N. Ryall, P. Vivek, L. Furness, N. Garcia-Araez and others
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.southampton.ac.uk/per/university/festival/science-and-engineering-day.page
 
Description Workshop on Characterisation Methods to Accelerate Electrochemical Energy Storage - Invited oral presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact National workshop "Infrastructure to Knowledge: Advanced Characterisation Methods to Accelerate the Development of Novel Electrochemical Energy Storage Devices". An invited talk by N. Garcia-Araez titled "Fundamental electrochemical characterization of energy storage materials"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://faraday.ac.uk/characterisation-methods-to-accelerate-electrochemical-energy-storage-july-16-...