Sodium Ion batteries and Sodium Batteries Overview
It is predicted that the demand for lithium will explode due to the increasing demand for increasing by 1500 fold by 2030. An alternative is to use sodium ions (Na+) instead of lithium ions (Li+). Analogous to the definition of the term lithium-ion battery, which excludes lithium batteries with lithium metal electrodes, sodium-ion batteries can be defined in such a way that sodium ions are used instead of Lithium Ions for charge storage in the electrodes. This excludes cells with liquid sodium (NaS Battery), since there are no sodium ions in this sodium metal electrode.
Sodium Ion batteries with organic electrolyte
There is a very intensive research, which tries to develop sodium ion batteries with organic electrolyte, based on the great success of the lithium ion batteries. A great advantage of organic electrolytes is that they allow higher cell voltages than aqueous solutions. Sodium ion batteries of this type are operated at ambient temperature.
Sodium Ion batteries with aqueous electrolytes
There are also sodium ion batteries with aqueous electrolytes. These are called salt water batteries. Aqueous solutions are much cheaper than organic electrolytes. They are non-flammable and therefore safer than most lithium ion batteries – thermal cycling is not possible. However, they only allow low voltages (<3V). The energy density of such sodium ion batteries is therefore low and they are not suitable for mobile use or Electric vehicles. Such accumulators were sold commercially on a small scale as stationary batteries, e.g. as home storage for solar energy.