SBIR Phase I: Sulfur-infused carbon nanostructures for High Energy Density Secondary Batteries
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a novel nano-scale process for synthesizing sulfur infused carbon composite cathode materials to produce high-energy density lithium-sulfur (Li-S) secondary batteries with a high rate of charge/discharge and extraordinarily long cycle life. Phase I research objectives include, (1) develop a process suitable for making large quantities of material, (2) design and fabricate prototype reactor for synthesis process, (3) material characterization, and (4) fabricate battery prototypes. This research will result in continued improvement in properties of Li-S composite material, identification of critical processing characteristics, and will identify challenges to increasing scale. State-of-the-art lithium-ion electrode materials used in laptop computers and mobile devices are limited to a maximum power density of 0.28-0.6 kWh/kg, while Li-S offers the highest theoretical energy densities (2.3kW/kg). The broader impact/commercial potential of this project show that lithium-sulfur batteries with a long cycle-life (>300) are a potentially disruptive technology in the $11-$13 billion lithium-ion battery market because of their 3-4x energy density advantage over existing chemistry platforms. Lithium-ion batteries exist in a range of consumer products, such as laptops, smart phones, and electric vehicles (EV), for which size, weight, and battery life are critical to customer satisfaction. Additionally, energy storage is becoming a more important issue for the US electric grid, as wind and solar renewable energies continue to expand their role in electricity supply. Better batteries are of value to consumers, who are able to get more operating time from lighter mobile devices or EVs, and to product manufacturers, who are given the opportunity to differentiate from competitors with lighter and less expensive devices and vehicles. Enhanced energy storage technology also increases efficiency in the wind and solar electricity sector by matching power generation with consumer demand. This proposal also allows for further development of a nano-composite synthesis, which has a broader scientific and technological impact in similarly structured materials for energy storage, water purification membranes, carbon capture, and photovoltaics platforms.
Small Business Information at Submission:
95 Brown Rd, MS #1050 Ithaca, NY 14850-2742
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