Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Accurion GmbH, Germany and Institute of Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity (ISOF) at the National Research Council of Italy have presented a novel concept for fabricating high-performance electrode materials for sodium batteries. It is based on a novel type of graphene to store one of the world's most common and cheap metal ions – sodium. The results of their study show that the capacity can match today’s lithium-ion batteries.
Sodium, unlike lithium, is an abundant low-cost metal, and a main ingredient in seawater. This makes sodium-ion batteries an interesting and sustainable alternative for reducing our need for critical raw materials. However, one major challenge is increasing the capacity. At the current level of performance, sodium-ion batteries cannot compete with lithium-ion cells. One limiting factor is the graphite, which is used as the anode in today’s lithium-ion batteries.