Lithium is one of the limited minerals present on the earth. And since, the demand for mobile phones, cars, and laptops are increasing rapidly. We need an alternative source to replace lithium batteries. To compensate the need of lithium batteries, researchers have come up with idea of sodium substituting lithium for battery. Also, sodium (Na) is present in abundance in sea water and also easy to extract.
The Na-ion battery has several advantages over Li-ion batteries apart from easy availability of Na. One of the major factors that is driving the market is that Na-ion batteries do not require cobalt. Cobalt is one substantial element used to make Li-ion batteries. Moreover, cobalt is present in Democratic Republic of Congo where people get involved in illegal mining.
Challenges Tending To Improve Capacity of Na-ion Properties Over Li-ion Batteries
On contrary, there is a rising concern about the development of electrode materials for Na-ion batteries. A team of researchers from department of physics, chemistry, and pharmacy at University of Southern are trying to invent new type of electrode. The electrode will constitute of manganese, iron, and phosphorus. Moreover, presence of manganese will enhance the battery capacity by providing it more voltage (volts). The batter is likely to deliver high quantity of charge (watts). It happens because transformations occur at atomic level at the time of charge and discharge of the Na-ion battery.
One major challenge coming in the way is difficulty in making small Na-ion batteries. Though, large batteries also have application in storing wind and solar energy.
Lately, Chinese scientists at the Yangtze River Delta Physics Research Center tested a huge 100 kWh Na-ion battery. The giant battery constituted of more than 600 interconnected Na-ion battery cells. It helps supply power to the building and electric cars.
Everything said and done about the Na-ion battery, it is yet difficult to state when the sea-water battery will be launched in the market. This is due to challenges on the way.