Can Sodium-Ion Batteries Replace Trusty Lithium-Ion Ones?

Sodium-ion batteries are a potential replacement for lithium batteries, but different anodes are needed for the same level of performance. Amorphous carbon is known to be a useful anode, because it has defects and voids that can be used to store sodium ions. Nitrogen/phosphorus-doped carbon also offers appealing electrical properties. In Applied Physics Reviews, researchers describe how they applied basic physical concepts of atomic scale to build high-performance anodes for sodium-ion batteries.

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Batteries Mimic Mammal Bones for Stability

Sodium-ion batteries offer several advantages over lithium-ion batteries; however, it is difficult to develop sodium cathodes, materials through which electrons can enter a battery. Many candidate materials are unstable or cannot withstand high voltages. To find a solution, researchers turned to nature. They created a porous system of NVP structures, surrounded by a dense shell of reduced graphene oxide. They describe the mammal bone-inspired sodium cathode in the journal Applied Physics Reviews.

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A flexible screen-printed rechargeable battery with up to 10 times more power than state of the art

A team of researchers has developed a flexible, rechargeable silver oxide-zinc battery with a five to 10 times greater areal energy density than state of the art. The battery also is easier to manufacture; while most flexible batteries need to be manufactured in sterile conditions, under vacuum, this one can be screen printed in normal lab conditions. The device can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.

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New Technique Extends Next-Generation Lithium Metal Batteries

Columbia Engineering researchers have found that alkali metal additives, such as potassium ions, can prevent lithium microstructure proliferation during battery use. They used a combination of microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and computational modeling to discover that adding small amounts of potassium salt to a conventional lithium battery electrolyte produces unique chemistry at the lithium/electrolyte interface, and modulates degradation during battery operation, preventing the growth of microstructures and leading to safer, longer lasting batteries.

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Process to recover metals from batteries licensed by Momentum Technologies

Momentum Technologies Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based materials science company that is focused on extracting critical metals from electronic waste, has licensed an Oak Ridge National Laboratory process for recovering cobalt and other metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

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Argonne researchers target lithium-rich materials as key to more sustainable, cost-effective, next-generation batteries

Researchers are developing new ways to advance lithium-rich batteries and using new materials for practical use, according to researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

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Active learning accelerates redox-flow battery discovery

In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are accelerating the hunt for the best possible battery components by employing artificial intelligence.

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