Stellantis has invested in Lyten, a Silicon Valley company pioneer in the use of tunable three-dimensional graphene. To give news is the same Italian-French manufacturer, which anticipated the joint development of lithium-sulfur batteries for electric vehicles. The investment took place under the aegis of the venture capital fund Stellantis Ventures.
Very high energy density and low costs could revolutionize the world of electricity
Lithium-sulfur batteries use, as the name suggests, sulfur as the cathode material. Not only is sulfur one of the most common elements on Earth, making it very cheap, but it boasts a specific capacity up to ten times higher than the normal cathodes used in lithium-ion batteries.
This results in a huge increase in energy density: theoretically, a Lithium-Sulfur battery can have an energy density of 2500 Wh/kg. A very high value and an exceptional step forward for electric mobility given that, simplifying, much more current can enter a battery of the same size. All to the advantage of autonomy and lightness.
But the list of benefits related to this type of battery doesn’t stop there. In addition to cost-effectiveness and very high energy density, Lithium-sulfur batteries do not use nickel, cobalt or manganese. This translates into batteries with a carbon footprint of less than 60% compared to traditional batteries.
The non-use of these materials then ensures that what is needed for the construction is available in Europe and North America. This reduces dependency on other regions of the world.
In the face of so many advantages, however, there is a disadvantage that undermines the use of this technology. Lithium-sulphur batteries, due to the unwanted passage of lithium polysulphides from the cathode to the anode, quickly “consume” the active material from the electrode.
In other words, a few tens of recharge cycles are enough to make a Lithium-Sulfur battery unusable.
Lyten’s solution: tunable three-dimensional graphene to cancel the shuttle effect
And this is exactly where Lyten comes in: the use of tunable three-dimensional graphene can counteract the so-called “shuttle effect” according to the company, i.e. the above active material consumption. It would therefore be possible to mitigate the only real flaw of the lithium-sulphur batteries, so as to start the production of batteries that could prove to be revolutionary.
“Having recently visited Lyten together with our CTO Ned Curic and our Head of Stellantis Ventures, Adam Bazih, we were impressed by the potential of this technology to contribute to clean, safe and affordable mobility”, said Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis.
“Lyten’s lithium-sulfur batteries have the potential to become a key ingredient in driving mass-market EV adoption globally,” he added. “Similarly, their material technology could help reduce the weight of vehicles, a result that our sector will necessarily have to achieve in order to achieve the goals of zero carbon emissions” concludes the note.
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