NEXGENNA – Sodium-ion Batteries

NEXGENNA will develop the NEXt GENeration of Na-ion batteries. Its mission is to surpass LFP-graphite by improving the energy storage, power, and lifetime of sodium-ion 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 mid-range 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.  

Timeline with milestone/deliverables (September 2025)

  1. Discover and develop innovative electrode materials for higher performance, lower cost sodium-ion batteries.
  2. Discover and develop next-generation electrolyte materials, giving higher sodium mobility and therefore higher power.
  3. Develop the understanding of interface formation and cell degradation to extend cycle life.
  4. Optimise key industry-relevant materials for scale-up.
  5. Demonstrate nascent NEXGENNA technology in pouch cells.
  6. Improve the industrial state-of-the-art by delivering a novel medium power, lost-cost sustainable or energy pouch-cell design.

Project innovations

The project benefits from strong academic-industrial links across the value chain. Industry partners bring strengths in terms of materials, cell fabrication and electrode manufacturing. By working closely with these partners, the project team will ensure that it readily exploits and successfully deploys cutting-edge science, making the UK a leader in this technology for stationary and low-cost batteries for transportation applications.  


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.

NEXGENNA is partially funded by Transforming Energy Access (TEA), funded by UK aid from the UK government. TEA is a research and innovation platform supporting the technologies, business models and skills needed to enable an inclusive clean energy transition.

Project funding
1 October 2019 – 30 September 2025

Principal Investigator
Professor John Irvine
University of St Andrews

Project Leaders
Dr Nuria Tapia Ruiz
Imperial College London
Dr Robert Armstrong
University of St Andrews

University Partners
University of St Andrews (Lead)
University of Cambridge
Imperial College London
Lancaster University
University of Birmingham

Research Organisations, Facilities and Institutes
ISIS Neutron and Muon Source (STFC)
+ 3 Industry Partners


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