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OXIS Jump-Starts First Commercialization Of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

OXIS Jump-Starts First Commercialization Of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Jeff Cobb July 26, 2013

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More often revolutions start with a big bang but could it be the replacement for lithium-ion batteries is taking off with a relatively small but not insignificant pop?

This appears to be the case for OXIS Energy of the UK, which has plans in motion to put its 30-percent more energy dense polymer lithium-sulfur (Li-S) chemistry into production next year. Plans are also to sell its technology to European niche electric vehicle makers, the military, for solar energy storage systems, and several major auto manufacturers are in discussions with OXIS as well.

OXIS says its batteries are less costly to produce, lighter, safer, potentially more durable, maintenance-free and able to accept 100-percent discharge instead of the only 80-percent or so to which li-ion is limited.

battery_history

While the OXIS batteries do not yet boast headline-exploding four or five times lithium-ion’s energy density – though this is predicted – they do have enough superior about them to equate to a better battery than lithium-ion in several respects.

In so many words, even in its infancy, Li-S is a baby giant of a technology and able to pick up where the comparatively mature potential of li-ion first commercialized in 1991 by Sony is now tapering off.
Getting Started

In 2010 OXIS had just 10 employees, and now has 45. It’s based at the UK Atomic Energy Research Centre in Oxfordshire where lithium-ion batteries were first developed and prototyped. It holds 47 patents on its Li-S technology with over 32 more pending.

At the end of last month OXIS tweeted it had achieved a benchmark 500 charge cycles for its pouch cells, and yesterday it told us this is up to almost 600.

According to Dr. Mark Crittenden, OXIS’ business development manager, the company can reasonably extrapolate this result to say these same cells should be good for 1,700-1,800 charge cycles before they can only hold 80 percent, or “Beginning of Life.”
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