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Sodium-ion batteries

Sodium-ion batteries are proving to be a promising alternative to lithium-ion batteries – one that is cheaper, safer and easier to recycle. This next generation battery technology has the potential to power many things from an e-scooter to a grid-scale power station.

As the world faces a shortage in lithium, our attention is turning to other elements to help power our transition into green energy future.

And one such element is Sodium. As the fourth most abundant element in the earth’s crust – 10,000 times higher than lithium – sodium is easily accessible and affordable. In addition, a sodium-ion battery does not use heavy metals, unlike other battery types, meaning it has less impact on the environment and is easier to recycle.

World-leading battery technology companies, such as Faradion, have already turned their focus to sodium-ion batteries and have turned to us at the Battery Research and Innovation Hub to scale-up their breakthrough technology.

Drawing from the world-renowned battery technologies developed by research groups led by Professor Maria Forsyth and Professor Patrick Howlett, we can use our advanced facilities, such as our Pouch Cell Facility, to design, develop and test pouch cell technology that can be scaled-up for manufacturing and ready for commercialisation.

Our world-class experts are also exploring chemistries involved in novel electrode and electrolyte materials within sodium batteries, with an emphasis on improving battery performance, and raising the focus on circular economy.

This involves incorporating novel electrolyte materials such as ionic liquids and polymer composites; and implementing sustainable electrode materials that are directly taken from biomass waste.

Already we have developed novel electrolytes, with low flammability, and thermally and electrochemically stable features, which enables long-term battery cycling.

At a glance: Sodium-ion Batteries

Sodium-ion batteries share a similar working chemistry to lithium-ion batteries, however, due to the abundance of sodium, sodium-ion batteries are proving to be a cheaper, safer and more sustainable alternative.

Benefits: Sodium is the fourth most abundant elements in the earth’s crust, making it more affordable than commonly used lithium, which is facing a world-wide shortage. Sodium-ion batteries don’t require heavy metals to produce – making it easier to recycle and having less impact on the environment. 

Applications: Stationary applications such as a grid-scale power station and modes of transport that aren’t required to travel long distances, such as electric scooters or electric buses.

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