June 10, 2020

The Quest for a Viable Sodium Battery

PNNL and WSU researchers improve energy density and life cycle

Advanced Battery Research

Utilizing the capabilities of PNNL's Advanced Battery Facility, researchers from PNNL and WSU have improved the performance of sodium-ion battery technology, advancing the effort to develop new battery chemistries and designs using low-cost and abundant materials. 

Photo by Andrea Starr, PNNL

In the continuing quest to develop new battery chemistries and designs that make use of materials that are more abundant and less costly, a team of researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University has raised the bar for sodium-ion battery technology.

The team’s approach provides a battery chemistry that can deliver a capacity up to ~190 mAh/g and a potential specific energy of ~160 Wh/kg, which narrows the gap with some lithium-ion batteries, while also retaining more than 80 percent of its charge after 1,000 cycles. The research was led by Yuehe Lin, professor in WSU’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and a joint appointee at PNNL, and Xiaolin Li, a senior research scientist at PNNL. The work is published in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

In addition to Li, PNNL researchers Junhua Song, Jianming Zheng, Mark Engelhard, Biwei Xiao, Zihua Zhu, Chongmin Wang, David Reed and Vince Sprenkle contributed to the research.

“This is a major development for sodium-ion batteries,” said Imre Gyuk, director of energy storage for the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity, which supported this work at PNNL. “There is great interest around the potential for replacing lithium-ion batteries with sodium-ion in many applications.”

To read more about this research, see the WSU news release.



About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science. For more information on PNNL, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.