Pathways Toward High-Energy Li-Sulfur Batteries, Identified via Multi-Reaction Chemical Modeling

Daniel Korff, Andrew Colclasure, Yeyoung Ha, Kandler Smith, Steven DeCaluwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Here we present a 1D model of a Li-Sulfur battery with physically derived geometric parameters and thermodynamically consistent electrochemical kinetics. The approach enables straightforward comparison of proposed Li-S mechanisms and provides insights into the influence of polysulfide intermediates on battery discharge. Comparing predictions from multiple mechanisms demonstrates the need for both lithiated and non-lithiated polysulfide species, and highlights the challenge of developing parameter estimates for complex electrochemical mechanisms. The model is also used to explore cathode design strategies. Discharge performance and polysulfide concentrations for electrolyte/sulfur ratios in the range 2-4 μL mg-1 identifies trade-offs that limit battery energy and power density, and highlights the risk of polysulfide precipitation. New cathode and electrolyte approaches must limit polysulfide concentrations in the electrolyte, both to unlock better rate capabilities in Li-S technology and to prevent capacity fade due to polysulfide precipitation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number010520
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published on behalf of The Electrochemical Society by IOP Publishing Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-80571


  • batteries
  • electrolyte to sulfur ration
  • Li-S
  • lithium
  • multi-reaction
  • sulfur


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