A high cycle life and high energy density rechargeable battery will address an important growing demand for safe, efficient, low-cost, environmentally sustainable air transportation. These advances will enable “thin-haul” aircraft with low-carbon propulsion systems that provide low-cost passenger and package transportation. Advances in electrified aircraft propulsion (EAP) will also introduce a new class of small aircraft with vertical take-off and landing capability for on-demand, urban air taxi and regional commuter service applications. Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries are promising next-generation energy storage devices for NASA EAP program applications because of their high theoretical gravimetric energy density of 2500 Wh/kg, which is up to 5 times higher than today’s commercial lithium-ion batteries. However, their use has been limited by poor cycle life caused in part by the poor stability of Li metal anodes during cycling. In this Phase I, Giner will develop a novel strategy for stabilizing the Li metal anode to achieve stable, long term cycling of Li-S cells.
The developed technology will enable the use of high energy density Li-S batteries with increased cycle life for various NASA missions and programs such as: EAP applications (urban air mobility, thin haul, and short haul aircraft), EVA applications (life support, communications, power tools, glove heaters, lights and other devices), satellites, and other spacecraft and vehicles such as JUNO and the planned new Mars rover.
This coating technology will enable commercialization of high energy density Li-S batteries with increased cycle life, lower cost. This improvement would make Li-S batteries practical for EV applications. Additional markets include power for: persistent unmanned aerial vehicles, aerospace vehicles, satellites for military communication, large-scale grid energy storage, and consumer electronics.