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A mathematical model is presented for a complete lithium–sulfur cell. The model includes various electrochemical and chemical (precipitation) reactions, multicomponent transport phenomena in the electrolyte, and the charge transfer within and between solid and liquid phases. A change in the porosity of the porous cathode and separator due to precipitation reactions is also included in the model. The model is used to explain the physical reasons for the two-stage discharge profiles that are typically obtained for lithium–sulfur cells.