Stanford scientists have innovated the battery technology from lithium to the sodium-ion based battery. This new discovery could store the same quantity of energy as that of the lithium ion, yet at a lower cost.
The innovation is led by Zhenan Bao, a chemical engineer, Yi Cui and William Chueh, both materials scientists. The Stanford research was published in the journal Nature Energy on October 9. The team created the sodium-ion battery built on a compound related to table salt, according to Stanford News.
Bao, the lead researcher of the study, said that nothing may ever surpass lithium in performance. On the other hand, lithium is so rare and expensive. With this, they develop high-performance, yet cost-effective batteries based on abundant elements such as sodium.
In the research, the scientists use the sodium-based electrode, in which they fused the positively charged ion with a negatively charged ion and the phosphorous anode. They also examined the atomic-level forces operating on how the sodium ions connect and disengage themselves from the cathode. With this, it could enhance the charge-recharge cycle. If the cathodes are proficient in carrying the electrons toward and backward as opposed to anodes, then the battery will work better.
— New Atlas (@nwtls) October 10, 2017
According to New Atlas, the new batteries have more than 87 percent energy efficiency. The scientists also claim that it cost less than 80 percent of a lithium-ion battery with equivalent storage capacity.
The scientists are now planning to work on the anode to have better performance out of the sodium-ion battery. Cui described it as a good design. On the other hand, they are confident that it could be enhanced by further optimizing the phosphorous anode. They will also investigate and study the volumetric energy density of the device to determine how big the battery that could store an amount of energy.
The lithium-ion battery has a wide application from expediating daily activities such as running the apps on your phone to providing life-saving medical equipment support. They are reliable and safe in operating essential equipment. Among its top uses are emergency power backup, electric and recreational vehicle power, solar power storage, surveillance or alarm systems and marine motor performance. The development of the new sodium-ion battery could also help in these applications and lower their costings.
[Featured Image by Oleksandr Kiriuchkov/Thinkstock]