Evolution not revolution: LiS and Li-air developers' savvy pivot to metallic lithium anodes

May 29, 2019 | Case Study

As lithium-sulfur (LiS) and lithium-air (Li-air) battery development has stalled, former LiS battery developer Sion Power and Li-air battery developer PolyPlus Battery have narrowed their research to focus on the anode technology required for both chemistries: lithium metal. This pivot represents an evolution, not a revolution, in these companies' businesses, as metallic lithium anodes are required in both types of batteries, and technical issues remain for both cathode types: In LiS cells, permanent polysulfide migration away from the sulfur cathode degrades battery capacity and cycle life; in Li-air batteries, there is a practical limit to how rapidly oxygen can be brought into the battery, which diminishes reaction rates and limits power output.

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