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Sodium-ion batteries

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Technology Description

Sodium-ion batteries are a type of battery with a cathode consisting of a sodium-based material, an anode (not necessary a sodium-based material) and a liquid electrolyte consisting of sodium salts with small amounts of additives. During charging, sodium ions move from the cathode to the anode while electrons move through the external circuit. The reverse process occurs during discharge. Sodium-ion batteries are similar in structure to lithium-ion batteries, but the lithium is replaced by sodium compounds. The main advantage of sodium-ion batteries is the natural abundance of sodium, but challenges include low energy density and shorter cycle life. For applications where energy density is not critical, such as stationary battery energy storage or short-range mobility, sodium-ion batteries could be an alternative.

Relevance for Net Zero

A higher integration of variable renewable energy will increase the need of flexibility and energy storage. While Li-ion batteries have been largely deployed, issues around costs and a more limited lithium availability, call for alternative battery technologies.

Key Countries

China, Sweden, United States

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