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Using Tellurium Could Decrease Electric Vehicles Battery Costs EV

Incorporating Tellurium Could Decrease EV Battery Costs

Incorporating an industrial byproduct 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 byproduct 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. 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.”

Tellurium’s high volumetric capacity could enable greater storage capacity and faster charging and discharging than existing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Solid state tellurium-based batteries could be safer than conventional EV batteries, which employ flammable liquid electrolytes. A research team at the University of Texas at Austin has found a way to stabilize lithium-sulfur batteries, making them more likely to become commercially viable.

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Jian Liu

About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has decades of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Coldwell Banker Residential, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, NAIOP, SIOR and ALM. In those positions, she worked in conjunction with chief executive officers and chief marketing officers to create corporate messaging, cohesive branding standards, strategic marketing plans and thought pieces. Brown is a frequent speaker at industry events and an editing adjunct professor for an online course. She has a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University.

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