Tellurium-Based Battery Technology Shows Promise to Extend Range of Electric Vehicles
PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- FinancialNewsMedia.com News Commentary - Incorporating an industrial by-product into lithium-sulphur batteries could increase the driving range and cut the price of electric vehicle batteries, according to a new study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers. An article on the UBC research was published by PICS Pacific Institute For Climate Control. The research said that tellurium, a by-product of the copper and lead-zinc smelting process, has 30 times the electrical conductivity of sulphur, which is itself emerging as a promising component of next-generation batteries due to its ability to support high energy density, despite its limitations as an electrical conductor. The report said that a compound that combines sulphur and tellurium could overcome those limitations, said the lead researcher, assistant professor Jian Liu. "People have been looking into sulphur batteries for many years, but it is challenging to commercialize because sulphur doesn't transport electrons at all," said Liu. "We are looking for a way to balance electronic conductivity with energy density as a way to make lithium-sulphur batteries viable." "Finding that compound is our next step," he said. Active Companies in the markets today include First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCPK: GODYF), Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), XPENG Inc. (NYSE: XPEV).
The study – Materials Design and Fundamental Understanding of Tellurium-based Electrochemistry for Rechargeable Batteries – published in the journal Energy Storage Materials – notes tellurium's high volumetric capacity, which could enable greater storage capacity and faster charging and discharging than existing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The reports said: "Solid state tellurium-based batteries could be safer than conventional EV batteries, which employ flammable liquid electrolytes. The researchers note that significant limitations must be overcome, including tellurium's tendency to expand and contract leading it to pulverize other active materials where they are combined. The researchers believe that problem can be overcome by creating a stable compound combining sulphur, tellurium, and carbon. While tellurium is relatively rare in the Earth's crust it can be recovered during metals production and Liu is confident that tellurium can also be recovered from end-of-service tellurium batteries and used again. Canada is among the world's leaders in tellurium production, with at least three firms engaged in tellurium production in British Columbia."
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