Researchers at Shiv Nadar University in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay have developed a lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery technology.

“The research will aid the production of cost-effective, compact, energy-efficient, safe and environment-friendly Li-S batteries, offering a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries commonly used at present,” Shiv Nadar University said in an official release.

Bimlesh Lochab, Associate Professor in the university’s Department of Chemistry, in partnership with Sagar Mitra, Professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, IIT-B, have used this research for the development of a Li-S battery prototype.

The batteries incorporate petroleum industry by-products such as sulfur and have the potential to power tech gadgets, drones, electric vehicles, etc, as per the release. It also uses agro-waste elements and copolymers such as cardanol (a by-product of cashew nut processing) and eugenol (clove oil) as cathodic materials.

The production technology can help produce Li-S batteries in a more sustainable and much cheaper way offering up to three times higher energy density with intrinsic flame-retardant properties, the research claims.

“The research focusses on the principles of green chemistry to find a solution that addresses the requirements of industries and the environment, simultaneously. The capability of 3x energy density, coupled with being a significantly safer technology, holds the promise of accelerating the adoption of clean, battery-led energy across multiple domains,” explained Lochab.

“For example, an electric car with a 400-km range using conventional lithium-ion batteries can now quadruple its range to 1,600 km on a single charge with this technology, while being compact in size and much safer to use than traditional lithium-ion batteries. To put this in perspective, it could mean driving from Delhi to Mumbai on a single charge and still being left with power,” he further said.

Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University, said: “This breakthrough research by Lochab underlines the need for clean energy solutions at a time when our dependence on battery-operated devices has increased manifold.”