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Advancements in Sodium-ion Batteries

  • 25 May 2023
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Recently, Indian scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the development of Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries by creating new cathode materials that offer high performance, cost-effectiveness, and environmental stability.

  • This advancement addresses the challenges of air/water-instability and structural-cum-electrochemical instability in Sodium-transition-metal-oxide (Na-TM-Oxide) based cathode materials, leading to the production of stable and efficient energy storage systems.

What are the Newly Developed Cathode Materials?

  • About:
    • Cathode material is the electrode where sodium ions are stored during the battery's discharge process.
      • It is responsible for the electrochemical reactions that allow the flow of electrical current.
    • The newly developed cathode materials are known for being air/water-stable and high-performance.
      • They exhibit high electrochemical cyclic stability and stability upon exposure to air/water.
  • Significance:
    • The newly developed cathode materials for Sodium-ion batteries offer high performance, cost-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness.
      • These materials are paving the way for the development of efficient and sustainable energy storage systems for various applications such as consumer electronics, grid energy storage, renewable energy storage, and electric vehicles.

What is Sodium-ion (Na-ion) Battery?

  • About:
    • A sodium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery comparable to the ubiquitous lithium-ion battery, but it uses sodium ions (Na+) as the charge carriers rather than lithium ions (Li+).
      • The working principles behind and cell construction of a sodium-ion battery is virtually identical to those of lithium-ion batteries, but sodium compounds are used instead of lithium compounds.
    • Sodium-ion batteries are currently emerging as a potential alternative to current lithium-ion battery technology due to their lower cost, higher availability, and reduced impact on the environment.
  • Importance:
    • The growing significance of battery-driven electric vehicles in addressing climate and environmental concerns necessitates the development of cost-effective, resource-friendly, safe, and sustainable alkali metal-ion battery systems beyond conventional Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
    • India's abundance of sodium sources makes the Na-ion battery system particularly crucial in the local context, offering a readily available and abundant resource for Na-ion battery production.
  • Challenges:
    • The performance of Na-ion batteries depends on the structural and electrochemical stability of the electrodes, sodium-ion transport kinetics, and various dynamic resistances.
    • However, the electrochemical behavior and stability of sodium based cathode materials needs significant improvements for widespread usage of Na-ion battery systems.

Source: PIB

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