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Australian researchers use sodium-sulfur in new battery technology

Australian and international researchers have successfully built and tested a laboratory-scale model sodium-sulfur battery has the potential to be four times the energy capacity of a lithium-ion battery and is cheaper to produce.

The team is led by Dr Shenlong Zhao from the University of Sydney.

This happened when research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF) found in annual battery price survey lithium-ion battery pack price has increased 7.0% since 2021.

This is the first increase in lithium-ion battery prices since BNEF began tracking the market in 2010, showing an increase in the average price by volume for li-ion packs across all sectors. US$151 per kWh of capacity (US$A223).

Sodium-sulfur (Na-S), a molten salt that can be processed from seawater, has been used in batteries for more than 50 years but has been plagued by low energy capacity and short life cycles. .

University researchers rocked this theory by using a pyrolysis process and carbon-based electrodes to improve the reactivity of sulfur and the reversibility of the mid-fluid reaction. sulfur and sodium.

According to the researchers, this Na-S battery exhibits “super high capacity and extremely long life” at room temperature.

Dr. Zhao’s Na-S batteries have been specifically designed as a solution for large-scale renewable energy storage systems. It is unclear whether battery technology will translate and operate competitively in the automotive world.

“Our sodium battery has the potential to significantly reduce costs while providing four times the storage capacity,” said Dr. Zhao.

“This is an important breakthrough for the development of renewable energy, although [it] reduce costs in the long run, there have been several financial barriers to entry.

“We hope that by providing a technology that reduces costs, we can soon reach the clean energy horizon. It probably goes without saying but the faster we can decarbonize – the better chance we have of limiting warming.”

The next step for the university researchers is to improve and scale the battery technology in Ah-grade pocket cells before looking at opportunities to commercialize it.

THAN: Electric vehicle battery prices increase for the first time this year

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