New sodium-ion battery for large-scale energy storage
A viable sodium battery.
Lithium-ion batteries are composed of materials such as cobalt and lithium, which are rare, expensive. With the growing demand for electricity storage, these materials will become harder to get and possibly more costly. Plus, Lithium-based batteries would also be problematic in meeting the tremendous growing demand for power grid energy storage.
In contrast, sodium-ion batteries, produced using modest, abundant, and sustainable sodium from the earth’s oceans or crust could make a decent contender for large scope energy storage. Lamentably, they don’t hold as much energy as lithium batteries.
The critical challenge is for the battery to have both high energy density and excellent cycle life.
Now, scientists from the Washington State University (WSU) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have devised a new sodium-ion battery that can hold as much energy and works as well as some commercial lithium-ion battery chemistries.
The new battery technology can deliver a capacity similar to some lithium-ion batteries and recharge successfully, keeping more than 80 percent of its charge after 1,000 cycles.
Scientists created a layered metal oxide cathode and a liquid electrolyte that included extra sodium ions, creating a saltier soup that had a better interaction with their cathode…