CATL presented its sodium-ion batteries with up to 160 Wh/kg energy density

1 August 2021, 01:53:10

CATL presented its sodium-ion batteries with up to 160 Wh/kg energy densityCATL has introduced the first generation of its sodium-ion batteries. The final product is a result of many years of research and development to overcome several challenges that stood in front of the commercialization of such batteries. First, sodium ions are 2.4 times larger in volume than lithium ones and are large and slower to move. Second, sodium-ion cells have a lower energy density and are heavier compared to lithium ones - 1165 mAh/g against 3829 mAh/g The average voltage per cell is also lower at 3V against the 4.2V of lithium-ion cells. On the other hand, there are two advantages of sodium-based cells that should not be overlooked. First, the world's sodium reserves are 1000 times that of lithium. Second, sodium costs 1/30 of what lithium costs.

CATL's first-generation sodium-ion batteries have an energy density of 160 Wh/kg and the company expects to achieve 200 Wh/kg with the second generation product, which is at the level of lithium-acid batteries. Further, despite the slightly lower energy density compared to lithium iron phosphate cells but have excellent performance at lower temperatures and faster charging. CATL has been using for the cathode a Prussian white material with a higher capacity and with the redesigning the bulk structure it has managed to solve the capacity fading problem. For the anode, it has developed a hard carbon material with a unique porous structure that enables sodium ions to move faster, to have an increased cycle performance, and increase the specific capacity of the material reaching a performance similar to that of graphite. These are also complemented by a dedicated electrolyte system.

In addition, CATL has been also working on an AB battery pack - a solution for integrating sodium-ion cells and lithium-ion cells into one battery pack that uses the advantages of both types of cells into a single solution. Commercialization of sodium-ion batteries begins as of this year for CATL.

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