Scientists develop sodium battery that can be charged in seconds

News Excerpt:

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a high-power hybrid sodium-ion battery that can be charged in seconds.

More about the news:

  • The study was published in the journal Energy Storage Materials.
  • South Korean researchers integrated anode materials typically used in batteries with cathodes suitable for supercapacitors.
  • The combination helped the battery to achieve high storage capacities and rapid charge-discharge rates.
  • The study indicates that the battery can be a viable next-generation alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

Sodium ion battery:

  • 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. 

Significance of Sodium ion Battery:

  • A sodium-ion battery would be a lot cheaper and potentially more feasible source of energy due to its comparative abundance in the world around us.
    • Sodium is nearly 1000 times more abundant than lithium and is a less rare mineral.
  • The sodium batteries will have a wide range of applications in various electronic devices from mobiles, electric vehicles, aerospace technologies to large-scale grid systems.
    • The battery may potentially fulfil an increasing demand for low-cost electrochemical energy storage devices with high energy density for prolonged operation on a single charge and fast-chargeable power density. 
    • At present, the available sodium-ion batteries are poor in rechargeability as they have a low power density while providing a relatively high energy density.

Lithium-ion battery:

  • Lithium-ion batteries, also known as Li-ion batteries for short, are rechargeable batteries used in most electronic gadgets.
  • Because of their high energy density, comparatively low self-discharge, and hundreds of recharge cycles they are frequently found in electric vehicles (EVs), portable electronic devices like laptops and tablets, and energy storage devices that run on renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

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