Image courtesy of Monash University

Researchers led by Monash University in Australia have developed what they say is the 'most efficient' version of a lithium-sulfur battery; one capable of powering a smartphone for five full days of continuous use. The team has filed a patent for the manufacturing process they developed and they report interest from 'some of the world's largest manufacturers.'

Prototype lithium-sulfur power cells were manufactured in Germany, according to an announcement from the university published last week. The technology holds promise for revolutionizing everything from consumer gadgets like cameras and phones to larger systems involving vehicles and solar power. The newly developed lithium-sulfur battery offers more than four times the performance of the market's current most efficient batteries.

With this level of battery performance, photographers and filmmakers could spend weeks in remote locations with only power banks as their power source, eliminating the need to tote around and use solar chargers, which are dependent on direct sunlight and often take several hours or more to recharge a battery.

In addition to improved performance, the Li-S battery technology is also said to have less of an environmental impact than the lithium-ion battery products currently in use. The new battery prototype utilizes the same materials used to manufacture ordinary lithium-ion batteries; as well, the process is said to have lower manufacturing costs.

According to the university, additional testing of the technology with solar grids and cars will take place in Australia early this year. Major lithium battery manufacturers in Europe and China are interested in upscaling the production of these lithium-sulphur batteries.