3 years ago

Predicting the Solubility of Sulfur: A COSMO-RS-Based Approach to Investigate Electrolytes for Li–S Batteries

Predicting the Solubility of Sulfur: A COSMO-RS-Based Approach to Investigate Electrolytes for Li–S Batteries
Steffen Jeschke, Patrik Johansson
Lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries are, in theory, considering their basic reactions, very promising from a specific energy density point of view, but have poor power rate capabilities. The dissolution of sulfur from the C/S cathode in the electrolyte is a rate-determining and crucial step for the functionality. To date, time-consuming experimental methods, such as HPLC/UV, have been used to quantify the corresponding solubilities. Here, we use a computational fluid-phase thermodynamics approach, the conductor-like screening model for real solvents (COSMO-RS), to compute the solubilities of sulfur in different binary and ternary electrolytes. By using both explicit and implicit solvation approaches for lithium bistrifluoromethanesulfonimidate (LiTFSI)-containing electrolytes, a deviation of <0.4 log units was achieved with respect to experimental data, within the range of experimental error, thus proving COSMO-RS to be a useful tool for exploring novel Li–S battery electrolytes. Predictive tool: Using experimentally determined sulfur solubilities as references, the solubilities of cyclo-S8 in binary and ternary electrolytes have been predicted on the basis of COSMO-RS computations for the first time. The presented results prove this method to be a useful tool for exploring novel Li–S battery electrolytes and enhanced understanding at the molecular level (see graphic).

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201701011

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