Scientists from the Institute of Chemistry (IOC) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have collaborated on the design of new type of sodium batteries and made a discovery that could lead to a more cost-effective production process for grid-scale energy storage systems.
Since sodium is more readily available, safer and less costly than lithium, scientists have been trying to create new types of batteries based on it. However, sodium has its own challenges when incorporated into a classic battery design and current versions can’t perform at high capacity over a long period of time. The researchers are trying to solve this problem by substituting different types of metals in the cathode and increasing the space between these metals. Scientists were able to measure ongoing changes during the charge-discharge processes and found out that with substituted metals sodium batteries can be stable when exposed to air and are encouraging alternatives for energy storage due to safety, sustainable cost and improved thermal stability.