Sulfur is considered an ideal battery material because of its potential for extremely high energy density, low weight and low cost
Photo: Zeta Energy - Unrefined sulfur
Zeta Energy, a Texas-based company that has developed a safe, low-cost, high performance, and sustainable battery for the electric vehicle and energy storage markets, demonstrated that it can use unrefined sulfur in its proprietary lithium sulfur battery technology with no loss of performance. This finding means that Zeta Energy can produce batteries with locally available sulfur just about anywhere in the world (there are, for example, approximately 130 refineries producing sulfur in the U.S. and over 100 in Europe).
Sulfur is considered an ideal battery material because of its potential for extremely high energy density, low weight and low cost, but historically a problem known as the "polysulfide shuttle effect" has resulted in low cyclability of sulfur-based batteries. Zeta's proprietary sulfurized carbon material prevents the polysulfide shuttle effect, resulting in sulfur-based cathodes that offer unprecedented stability and performance. Zeta's sulfur-based cathodes are also inherently inexpensive, and use no cobalt, nickel or manganese. The elimination of rare materials in favor of unrefined sulfur dramatically shortens and simplifies the supply chain for batteries as sulfur is abundant and widely available.
Chief Science Officer Rodrigo Salvatierra commented, "We are absolutely thrilled with these results. Most companies working with sulfur use highly purified chemical grade sulfur, which has higher cost and requires more energy and processing time. We have now shown that our processes work with unrefined sulfur, such as that derived from oil refining or used in the fertilizer industry, with no additional refining steps. This gives us a big advantage in our ability to meet the actual low cost of sulfur, and increase the sustainability, of making batteries."
Zeta Energy's cathode works in conjunction with a patented 3D structured metallic lithium anode technology, also developed by Zeta, which has significantly higher energy density than other major anode chemistries and without the dendrite issues common to lithium metal.
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