LiSTAR – The lithium-sulfur technology accelerator

Next-generation battery chemistries are needed for energy storage for the electrification of sectors including transport, aerospace and grid-scale storage alongside a host of high-value niche markets. Li-S batteries are among the most mature of the post Li-ion technologies. They have unique attributes associated with their projected improved gravimetric energy density, operating temperature window, safety and reduced environmental impact and cost. However, commercial prospects depend on improving both the rate performance and longevity of cells. The academic and industrial partners of the LiSTAR project will tackle outstanding fundamental challenges in Li-S technology as a whole. It aims ultimately to demonstrate substantial performance increases in a technologically relevant format.

Project presentation from the Faraday Institution Conference, November 2021


  • Enhance the sulfur loading and substantially increase the thickness of electrodes, making battery subcomponents that are significantly more representative of real-world requirements in a number of sectors.
  • Improve safety via implementation of non-flammable electrolytes.
  • Demonstrate new electrode and electrolyte approaches in a technologically relevant cell.
  • Demonstrate a battery management system to maximise performance.
  • Develop bespoke advanced cell monitoring and diagnostic techniques from the outset of the chemistry’s commercialisation.

Metrics of success for the project include advancing all areas of Li-S technology to demonstrate cells which:

  • Contain electrodes with more active material so they store enough energy to be commercially viable.
  • Can be discharged fast enough to remove all energy in one hour, and therefore provide sufficient power for the intended aeronautic and heavy vehicle applications.
  • Resist degradation when cycled.
  • Have no other features that would plausibly prevent it being mass-manufactured at a cost competitive with that of existing Li-ion batteries.

The LiSTAR consortium will also seek to make substantial contributions to the scientific literature and act as a catalyst in developing a cross-UK Li-S manufacturing industry by bringing together the leading interested academic and industrial partners.

Project funding
1 October 2019 – 30 September 2023
Principal Investigator
Professor Paul Shearing
University College London

Project Leader
Dr James Robinson
University College London
University Partners
University College London (Lead)
Imperial College London
University of Birmingham
University of Cambridge
Coventry University
University of Nottingham
University of Oxford
University of Southampton
University of Surrey
Research Organisations, Facilities and Institutes
National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
+ 4 Industry Partners


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