NEXGENNA – Sodium-ion batteries

NEXGENNA will develop the NEXt GENeration of Na-ion batteries. Its mission is to improve energy storage, power, and lifetime while maintaining sustainability, safety and cost advantages.

Sodium-ion batteries (NIBs) are an emerging battery technology, on the cusp of commercialisation, with promising cost, safety, sustainability and performance benefits when compared to lithium-ion batteries. They use widely available and inexpensive raw materials and existing lithium-ion production methods, promising rapid scalability. NIBs are an attractive prospect in meeting global demand for carbon-neutral energy storage, where lifetime operational cost, not weight or volume, is the overriding
factor. Increasingly sodium-ion batteries have characteristics comparable to lithium iron phosphate (LFP), suggesting that even automotive applications are possible.

NEXGENNA is taking a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating fundamental chemistry through scale-up and cell manufacturing. Many models of future renewable networks encompass storage for increased network resilience and to ensure the efficiency of small-scale renewable sources. The widespread use of commercial NIBs that this project will facilitate, would aid the realisation of these models, and fulfil the need for low-cost electric transport options in the densely populated and polluted
conurbations of developing economies.

Project presentation from the Faraday Institution Conference, November 2021


  • 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
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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