IIT Bombay, Shiv Nadar Researchers Develop Environment-Friendly Lithium Batteries

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Mumbai: IIT Bombay is in news again. This time for developing environment friendly lithium batteries.

Researchers from Indian Institute Of Technology, IIT Bombay and Shiv Nadar University claim to have developed a technology that can be used for the production of environment friendly and cost efficient lithium battery. These Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries will be three times more energy efficient than the Lithium-ion batteries commonly used today.

According to the team, the Li-S battery technology leverages principles of green chemistry, incorporating usage of by-products from the petroleum industry (Sulfur), agro-waste elements and copolymers such as cardanol (a by-product of cashew nut processing) and eugenol (clove oil) as cathodic materials, reported The Economic Times.

The technology also has the potential to aid multi-billion dollar industries including tech gadgets, drones, electric vehicles (EV) and several more that depend on such batteries according to the researchers.

“The research focuses on principles of green chemistry to find a solution that addresses requirements of industries and the environment, simultaneously. The capability of three times more energy density, coupled with being a significantly safer technology, holds the promise of accelerating the adoption of clean, battery-led energy across multiple domains,” Bimlesh Lochab, Associate Professor at Shiv Nadar University, told news agency PTI.

“From our laptops, mobile phones and smart watches to even electric cars depend on them. They are not efficient in terms of energy storage, they are heavy, expensive, extremely hard to recycle and also prone to combustion. The research innovatively used eugenol (derived from clove oil) copolymer, which is also environmentally sustainable, halogen-free, flame-retardant, and reduces the combustible propensities, making the battery remarkably safe to use,” Sagar Mitra, Professor, IIT Bombay said.

The new battery technology synthesises a bio-based molecule, capable of commercial-scale production. The research includes a new type of cathode for Li-S batteries, which can help push the promising battery technology to higher performance levels.

“The use of cardanol for Sulfur-based structures as an unconventional application to create cathode materials in this next generation Li-S battery technology has exhibited enhanced capacity retention (among the highest charge capacities reported) and longer battery life in a significantly smaller battery unit. The Sulfur for the battery is sourced from industrial waste and cardanol is sourced from bio-renewable feed-stock that is easily available, non-toxic and environmentally friendly,” Mitra added.

Lochab’s team has partnered with IIT Bombay professor Sagar Mitra from the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, to use the research for the development of a Li-S battery prototype.

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