Scientists have created a viable sodium-ion battery

Scientists have created a viable sodium-ion battery. The work of scientists from the University of Washington is described in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

Lithium-ion batteries are used everywhere – for example, in cell phones, laptops and electric cars. However, their production requires expensive and rare materials such as lithium and cobalt.

As demand for electric cars and electric energy storage grows, these materials will become more inaccessible – therefore, lithium batteries in their current form are a problem to meet the growing demand for energy storage.

Sodium-ion batteries made from cheap, affordable, and stable sodium can be a good candidate for lithium-ion replacement. However, while their capacity is much lower than that of lithium-ion batteries.

In addition, until now, sodium batteries have had serious problems with recharging – they significantly lose capacity after several cycles. In a new work, researchers found a solution to this problem.

The battery created by scientists has a capacity comparable to lithium-ion batteries and is able to withstand hundreds of recharge cycles without significant loss of capacity. In particular, after 1,000 recharge cycles, it retained 80% of its capacity.

Our work paves the way for practical sodium-ion batteries, and the fundamental understanding we received about cathode-electrolyte interaction sheds light on how we could develop future batteries without cobalt or with a low content of this metal.

Jonghua Song, lead author of the research