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Title: A low cost, high energy density and long cycle life potassium-sulfur battery for grid-scale energy storage

Alkali metal-sulfur batteries are attractive for energy storage applications because of their high energy density. Among the batteries, lithium-sulfur batteries typically use liquid in the battery electrolyte, which causes problems in both performance and safety. Sodium-sulfur batteries can use a solid electrolyte such as beta alumina but this requires a high operating temperature. Here we report a novel potassium-sulfur battery with K+-conducting beta-alumina as the electrolyte. Our studies indicate that liquid potassium exhibits much better wettability on the surface of beta-alumina compared to liquid sodium at lower temperatures. Based on this observation, we develop a potassium-sulfur battery that can operate at as low as 150°C with excellent performance. In particular, the battery shows excellent cycle life with negligible capacity fade in 1000 cycles because of the dense ceramic membrane. This study demonstrates a new battery with a high energy density, long cycle life, low cost and high safety, which is ideal for grid-scale energy storage.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1521-4095; 47476; TE1400000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Advanced Materials (Online); Journal Volume: 27; Journal Issue: 39
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory