The seminar will take place at the Sala d'Actes Carles Miravitlles and online.
Challenges with development of sodium-ion batteries: from academic research to commercialization
by Reza Younesi, from Uppsala University, Sweden
Monday, 4 April 2022, 3 pm
ICMAB-Sala d'Actes Carles Miravitlles and Online by Zoom. Register here to attend.
Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most important technology in the ongoing economy transformation to a fossil-free and sustainable societies. Lithium-ion batteries will play critical role in electrification of transportation sector and in large-scale deployment of renewable energy sources like solar and wind. However, the state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries use elements that are scarce or geographically poorly dispersed. This has led to an increased pressure on access to raw materials and thus higher prices. Therefore, there is an interest to develop batteries based on naturally abundant elements with high energy densities competitive to lithium-ion batteries.
In this respect, sodium-ion batteries have gained much attention and have become more mature in recent years. Sodium-ion batteries have the potential to decrease the cost of batteries while improving the sustainability since they could in principle be developed with no use of cobalt, copper, lithium, and graphite.
The main focus at the “sodium battery” group at Uppsala University, Sweden, has been on the development of electrode and electrolyte materials for sodium-ion batteries. Electrolytes for sodium-based electrolytes are often selected based on what works well for the lithium systems; generally resulting in expensive electrolytes, contain harmful compounds, which are not necessarily best performing for sodium-ion batteries. We have for the first time demonstrated the use sodium bis(oxalate)borate (NaBOB) as fluorine-free salt. Alkyl phosphate-based solvents such as triethyl phosphate (TEP) and trimethyl phosphate (TMP) are among few solvents that can dissolve NaBOB to provide non-flammable electrolytes with acceptable ionic conductivities with promising electrochemical cycling results. We have also developed a low-cost up-scaled method for synthesis of Prussian white (Na2Fe2(CN)6) cathode material with theoretical capacity of 170 mAh/g and average potential of 3.1 V.
Following the achievements at Uppsala University, we launched a spin-off company named ALTRIS, aiming for commercialization of sodium-ion batteries. The company has successfully raised funding in seed round and Series A funding round. ALTRIS has started the opening of an industrial scale manufacturing unit with the annual capacity of 2,000 tonnes of Prussian white to enable 1 GWh of sodium-ion batteries, and has successfully demonstrated prototypes of sodium-ion batteries.
Reza Younesi is associate professor at Ångström Advanced Battery Centre at Uppsala University, Sweden, and founder of Altris AB company. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in 2013-2014. Reza received his Ph.D. from Uppsala University and M.Sc. from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden. The research focus at Younesi’s team is on interfacial reaction in rechargeable batteries and materials development for sodium-ion & lithium-ion batteries.
Hosted by Alexandre Ponrouch, Solid State Chemistry
Register here to attend by Zoom.