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Title page for ETD etd-04102017-163927

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Carter, Rachel Elizabeth
Author's Email Address rachel.carter12@gmail.com
URN etd-04102017-163927
Title Room Temperature Sulfur Cathode Design and Processing Techniques
Degree PhD
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cary Pint, Ph.D. Committee Chair
Greg Walker, Ph.D. Committee Member
Jason Valentine, Ph.D. Committee Member
Peter Pintauro, Ph.D. Committee Member
Rizia Bardhan, Ph. D. Committee Member
  • carbon nanotube
  • carbon nano materials
  • Isothermal Vapor
  • Sodium Sulfur Battery
  • Lithium Sulfur Battery
Date of Defense 2017-04-07
Availability unrestricted
As energy demand steadily increases, sulfur battery chemistries gain more and more attention for their promise to enable long-duration portable energy (Li-S system) and extremely low cost stationary storage for incorporation of renewables (Na-S system). The Li-S battery, which converts metallic lithium and elemental sulfur to lithium sulfide (Li2S) reversibly at the cathode, promises 6X the energy storage of the conventional Li-ion battery. This dissertation enables high performance Li-S cathodes by mitigating poor electrical conductivity and solubility of active materials with careful nanomaterial design. Further, this work champions dramatically improved sulfur composite processing technique using low temperature (175°C), isothermal vapor, which facilitates optimal performance of the nanomaterial electrode designs. This process also boasts enhanced scalability over the conventional melt infiltration with 60X throughput at the same low temperature. By pushing the limits of the isothermal vapor infiltration technique, this work demonstrates one of the first highly stable, low-cost room temperature Na-S cathodes. This electrode, developed from table sugar, provides significant hope for, grid storage, competitive in price with burning natural gas, to allow penetration of renewable resources into the grid by load leveling weather related intermittencies.
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