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Sulphur fuels battery breakthrough

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Tucson-based Sion Power Corporation has demonstrated a new generation of batteries based on Li-S (Lithium Sulfur) technology. The demonstration at WinHEC last week powered a Transmeta Crusoe-based Tablet PC for a working day.

Long anticipated as the lighter successor to Lithium Polymer, Sion claims that the Li-S battery pack at 350 watt hours/kg compared to 150 Wh/kg for today's Li-Poly batteries, and are good for 300 power cycles. The new technique uses a similar manufacturing process to litium polymer. The lower weight could make it attractive to phone and computer businesses, while the higher power discharge rate could make it attractive to bike and car manufacturers.

Sion was formerly called Moltech, and has been developing the technology for a decade. Berkeley, CA. based PolyPlus also plans to license Li-S battery technology based on work at UCB. The race is on to commercialize the technology before fuel-cells begin to appear next year. ®

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