NEXGENNA – Sodium-ion batteries

Most current generation rechargeable batteries for transportation are based on the use of lithium. However, the relatively high cost, the somewhat limited global abundance of lithium, and environmental concerns around the sourcing of lithium mean that there is demand for a lower cost alternative that would increase the uptake of energy storage technologies in several sectors. Sodium-based batteries could be such an option, particularly for static storage, where cost is a more important factor than weight or performance.

This project will accelerate the development of sodium-ion battery technology by taking a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating fundamental chemistry right through to scale-up and cell manufacturing. Its aim is to put on the path to commercialisation a sodium-ion battery with high performance, low cost, that has a long cycle life and is safe.

Many models of future grid networks based on renewable energy incorporate storage on a local or domestic level for increased network resilience and to ensure efficiency of small-scale renewable sources. The widespread use of commercial Na-ion batteries that this project will facilitate would aid the realisation of these models and fulfil the need for low-cost electric transport options in the highly polluted and densely populated conurbations in developing economies.

Project presentation from the Faraday Institution Conference, November 2020

Objectives

  • Discover and develop innovative electrode materials for higher performance, lower cost Na-ion batteries.
  • Discover and develop next-generation electrolyte materials, giving higher sodium mobility and therefore higher power.
  • Refine the test and characterisation methods most applicable for materials for Na-ion batteries.

The project aims to develop a prototype of a next-generation sodium-ion battery with overwhelming competitive advantages. Key metrics, compared with existing technology is that the prototype needs to be able to displace lead-acid batteries from many current uses, be more cost-effective than Li-ion in some existing applications, and enable new markets to be electrified.

 

In one example of Faraday Institution research moving to the next stage of commercialisation, the HIPERCARB project, selected as one of the Faraday Battery Challenge Round 4 projects in what was a highly competitive bidding process, leverages the knowledge, capabilities and know-how of Lancaster University, developed as part of the NEXGENNA project.

Project funding
£11.5m
1 October 2019 – 30 September 2023
Principal Investigator
Professor John Irvine
University of St Andrews
Project Leaders
Dr Nuria Tapia Ruiz
Lancaster University
Dr Robert Armstrong
University of St Andrews
University Partners
University of St Andrews (Lead)
University of Cambridge
University College London
Lancaster University
University of Sheffield
Research Organisations, Facilities and Institutes
ISIS Neutron and Muon Source (STFC)
+ 3 Industry Partners

 

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