High-capacity sodium-ion could replace lithium in rechargeable batteries

Scientists of the University of Birmingham are paving the way to swap the lithium in lithium-ion batteries (LIB) with sodium.

With a rising demand for electric vehicles (EVs), finding a replacement for this expensive and sparse material is becoming a particular area of interest, as the need for a reliable rechargeable battery becomes more apparent.

According to the Birmingham scientists, sodium is inexpensive and can be found in seawater – so is virtually limitless. However, sodium is a larger ion than lithium, so it is not possible to simply “swap” it for lithium in current technologies. For example, unlike lithium, sodium will not fit between the carbon layers of the ubiquitous LIB anode, graphite.