, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 2219–2225 | Cite as

Electrochemical properties of modified acetylene black/sulfur composite cathode material for lithium/sulfur batteries

  • Guo Jin
  • Zhang Mingang
  • Yan Shijian
  • Yan Xiaoyan
  • Wei Shiwei
Original Paper


Lithium/sulfur (Li/S) batteries have a high theoretical specific capacity of 1672 mAh g−1. However, the insulation of the elemental sulfur and polysulfides dissolution could result in poor cycling performance of Li/S batteries, thus restricting the industrialization process. Here, we prepared sulfur-based composite by thermal treatment. The modified acetylene black (H-AB) was used as a carrier to fix sulfur. The H-AB could interact with polysulfides and reduce the dissolution of polysulfides in the electrolyte. Nonetheless, the conductivity of H-AB relatively reduced. So the conductivity of the sulfur electrode would be improved by the addition of the conductive agent (AB). In this paper, the different content of conductive agent (AB) in the sulfur electrode was studied. The electrochemical tests indicate that the discharge capacity of the sulfur electrode can be increased by increasing the conductive agent (AB) content. The H-AB@S composite electrode with 30 wt.% conductive agent has the best cycle property. The discharge capacity still remains at 563 mAh g−1 after 100 cycles at 0.1 C, which is 71% retention of the highest discharge capacity.


Lithium/sulfur battery Cathode material Modified acetylene black Conductive agent Cycle performance 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Shanxi Science and Technology Foundation Platform Construction Projects (2015091011) and Jincheng Science and Technology Planning Projects (201501004-21).


  1. 1.
    Liang CD, Dudney NJ, Howe JY (2009) Hierarchically structured sulfur/carbon nano composite material for high-energy lithium battery. Chem Mater 21(19):4724–4730. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fergus JW (2010) Recent developments in cathode materials for lithium ion batteries. J Power Sources 195(4):939–954. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dong QF, Wang C, Zheng MS (2011) Research progress and prospects of lithium sulfur batteries. Prog Chem 23:533–539Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yuan Y, Lu H, Fang Z, Chen BZ (2016) Preparation and performance of sulfur-carbon composite based on hollow carbon nanofiber for lithium-sulfur batteries. Ionics 22(9):1509–1515. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Peng XX, Lu YQ, Zhou LL, Sheng T, Shen SY, Liao HG, Huang L, Li JT, Sun SG (2017) Graphitized porous carbon materials with high sulfur loading for lithium-sulfur batteries. Nano Energy 3:53–510Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ji XL, Nazar LF (2010) Advances in li-S batteries. J Mater Chem 20(44):9821–9826. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wang JG, Xie KY, Wei BQ (2015) Advanced engineering of nanostructured carbons for lithium-sulfur batteries. Nano Energy 15:413–444. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ma GQ, Wen ZY, Wang QS, Jin J, Wu XW, Zhang JC (2015) Effects of CeO2 nano-crystal on electrochemical properties of lithium/sulfur batteries. J Inorg Mater 30:913–918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chen FB, Wang YN, Wu BR, Xiong YK, Liao WL, Wu F, Sun Z (2014) Preparation and electrochemical performance of activation graphene/sulfur complex cathode material for lithium-sulfur batteries. J Inorg Mater 29:627–632Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kim H, Lee JT, Yushin G (2013) High temperature stabilization of lithium-sulfur cells with carbon nanotube current collector. J Power Sources 226:256–265. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Xu GY, Ding B, Nie P, Luo HJ, Zhang XG (2013) Preparation and electrochemical performance of carbon nanotubes/graphene oxide/sulfur complex cathode material. Acta Phys Chem Sin 29:546–552Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhang B, Qin X, Li GR, Gao XP (2010) Enhancement of long stability of sulfur cathode by encapsulating sulfur into micropores of carbon spheres. Energy Environ Sci 3(10):1531–1537. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liang X, Wen ZY, Liu Y, Zhang H, Huang LZ, Jin J (2011) Highly dispersed sulfur in ordered mesoporous carbon sphere as a composite cathode for rechargeable polymer Li/S battery. J Power Sources 196(7):3655–3658. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yang K, Gao QM, Tan YL, Tian WQ, Zhu LH, Yang CX (2015) Microporous carbon derived from Apricot shell as cathode material for lithium-sulfur battery. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 204:235–241. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhang ZA, Wang GC, Lai YQ, Li J (2016) A freestanding hollow carbon nanofiber/reduced graphene oxide interlayer for high-performance lithium sulfur batteries. J Alloys Compd 663:501–506. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cao YL, Li XL, Aksay IA, Lemmon J, Nie ZM, Yang ZG, Liu J (2011) Sandwich-type functionalized graphene sheet-sulfur nano composite for rechargeable lithium batteries. Phys Chem Chem Phys 13(17):7660–7665. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yuan LX, Yuan HP, Qiu XP, Chen LQ, Zhu WT (2009) Improvement of cycle property of sulfur-coated multi-walled carbon nanotubes composite cathode for lithium/sulfur batteries. J Power Sources 189(2):1141–1146. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhang CW, Zhang Z, Wang DR, Yin FX, Zhang YG (2017) Three-dimensionally ordered macro-mesoporous carbon loading sulfur as high-performance cathodes for lithium/sulfur batteries. J Alloys Compd 714:126–132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wang J, Chen J, Konstantinov K, Zhao L, Ng SH, Wang GX, Guo ZP, Liu HK (2006) Sulphur-polypyrrole composite positive electrode materials for rechargeable lithium batteries. Electrochim Acta 51(22):4634–4638. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Liang X, Wen ZY, Liu Y, Wang XY, Zhang H, Wu MF, Huang LZ (2011) Preparation and characterization of sulfur-polypyrrole composites with controlled morphology as high capacity cathode for lithium batteries. Solid State Ionics 192(1):347–350. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Wei P, Fan MQ, Chen HC, Yang XR, Wu HM, Chen JD, Li T, Zeng LW, Li CM, Ju QJ, Chen D, Tian GL, Lv CJ (2016) Enhanced cycle performance of hollow polyaniline sphere/sulfur composite in comparison with pure sulfur for lithium sulfur batteries. Renew Energ 86:148–153. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zhang B, Lai C, Zhou Z, Gao XP (2009) Preparation and electrochemical properties of sulfur-acetylene black composites as cathode materials. Electrochim Acta 54(14):3708–3713. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wang HL, Yang Y, Liang YY, Robinson JT, Li YG, Jackson A, Cui Y, Dai HJ (2011) Graphene-wrapped sulfur particles as a rechargeable lithium/sulfur battery cathode material with high capacity and cycling stability. Nano Lett 2011(11):2644–2647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Huang KJ, Zhang JZ, Jia YL, Xing K, Liu YM (2015) Acetylene black incorporated layered copper sulfide nano sheets for high-performance super capacitor. J Alloys Compd 641:119–126. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Tang JJ, Yang J, Zhou XY, Xie J, Chen GH (2014) Oxidation of acetylene black by nitric acid in hermetically sealed condition. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 193:54–60. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Miao LX, Wang WK, Wang MJ, Wang AB, Yuan KG, Yang YS (2013) A high sulfur content composite with core-shell structural as cathode material for li-S battery. J Mater Chem A 1(38):11659–11664. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ji XL, Lee KT, Nazar LF (2009) A highly ordered nanostructured carbon` cathode for lithium-sulphur batteries. Nat Mater 8(6):500–506. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ahn W, Kim KB, Jung KN, Shin KH, Jin CS (2012) Synthesis and electrochemical properties of a sulfur-multi walled carbon nanotubes composite as a cathode material for lithium sulfur batteries. J Power Sources 202:394–399. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wang C, Wan W, Chen JT, Zhou HH, Zhang XX (2012) Dual core-shell structured sulfur cathode composite synthesized by a one-pot route for lithium sulfur batteries. J Mater Chem A 1:1716–1723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Qu YH, Zhang ZA, Zhang XH, Ren GD, Wang XW, Lai YQ, Liu YX, Li J (2014) Synthesis of hierarchical porous honeycomb carbon for lithium-sulfur battery cathode with high rate capability and long cycling stability. Electrochim Acta 137:439–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Peng ZH, Fang WY, Zhao HB, Fang JH, Cheng HW, Doan TNL, Xu JQ, Chen P (2015) Graphene-based ultrathin microporous carbon with smaller sulfur molecules for excellent rate performance of lithium-sulfur cathode. J Power Sources 282:70–78. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guo Jin
    • 1
  • Zhang Mingang
    • 1
  • Yan Shijian
    • 1
  • Yan Xiaoyan
    • 1
  • Wei Shiwei
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Advanced Materials, School of Materials Science and EngineeringTaiyuan University of Science and TechnologyTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations