Rob, as you say, this is in it's infancy. It took six years to get to this point. There are still many aspects to be researched as well. I wouldn't look for it too soon.
This is a very good illustration of the problems faced by electric vehicle manufacturers. There are lots of technologies being researched (a good thing), but not many that will be ready soon for manufacture. That is too bad in this case, since sulfur is very abundant. It is not only available as a byproduct of chemical processes, but coal fired plants produce massive amounts. This is generally hauled away and stuffed in old coal pits.
They say their all-solid lithium-sulfur battery offers four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion technologies.
@Elizabeth, thanks for the post. Energy density four times higher menas that present smartphone's lithium-ion battery giving eight hours of use will give 32 hours if lithium-sulfur battery is used.
Then this will be a good news for gadget developers. With longer battery cycle, gadget developers will come up with more powerful gadgets, making them more power hungry. We will still struggle with eight hours battery.
Elizabeth's article gives me a lot of hope for a revolution in electrical storage. But I wonder from where the innovation comes.
Oak Ridge is a government lab. A century ago, such inventions and research did not come from the government. It came from individuals such as Edison, Tesla, The Wrights, etc. or non-government companies.
Edison and his Menlo Park group looked at thousands of materials in the search for one suitable in an electric light bulb.
The quest for better electrical storage seems like a retelling of light-bulb filaments - find the right chemistry and electrify the world.
THe current state of patent law might have something to do with this state of affairs.
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