Sodium-ion batteries emerging as a viable alternative to lithium-ion technology

Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous. They power consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and serve as storage for surplus renewable energy like wind and solar. However, as the world continues to electrify, we will need additional battery technologies to meet growing demand. This is where sodium-ion batteries come into play.

Sodium-ion batteries share a similar design with their lithium-ion counterparts and can be produced using related methods. Both types generate electricity through a chemical reaction and consist of an anode, cathode, separator, and electrolyte.

In sodium-ion batteries, sodium ions replace lithium ions in the cathode, and sodium salts substitute lithium salts in the electrolyte.

Although sodium-ion batteries have been around for decades, large-scale development was once abandoned in favour of lithium-ion batteries. Now, the technology is experiencing renewed interest. This resurgence in sodium-ion battery technology was catalysed when the world’s largest EV battery maker, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), announced in 2021 that it was investing in sodium-ion technology with plans to establish a basic industrial supply chain by this year.

While sodium-ion batteries don’t offer the same range for electric vehicles as lithium-ion batteries, they have unique advantages. For example, the materials used in sodium-ion batteries are generally cheaper than those in lithium-ion batteries.

DG Innovate plc (LON:DGI) is an advanced research and development company pioneering sustainable and environmentally considerate improvements to electric mobility and storage, using abundant materials and the best engineering and scientific practices. Deregallera is a subsidiary of DG Innovate.

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