The sodium-ion battery creates hope for a faster energy transition

Northvolt, together with research partner Altris, is developing a battery that is safer, more cost-effective and more sustainable than conventional batteries

Sodium ion battery
Source & Copyright: Northvolt

Author: House of Eden

  • The Swedish company Northvolt, in collaboration with its research partner Altris, has developed a sodium-ion battery that is said to be safer, cheaper and more sustainable compared to conventional batteries.
  • This sodium-ion battery relies on minerals such as iron and sodium, instead of environmentally harmful substances such as nickel, cobalt or graphite.
  • The new battery technology is considered promising in terms of both energy storage and electromobility in the future.

In a world that is increasingly relying on electricity as an energy source to pursue a sustainable path away from fossil and nuclear energy sources, batteries play a crucial role. However, a look behind the scenes reveals that this supposedly more sustainable alternative is not yet a final solution. The reasons for this include, among other things, the environmentally harmful ingredients it contains, including nickel, cobalt and graphite.

The Swedish company Northvolt announced yesterday, November 21, 2023, the development of a new sodium-ion battery - a battery that also works without nickel, graphite, cobalt or lithium. This is due to the use of minerals such as iron and sodium.

The most important key facts of the new sodium ion battery at a glance:

  1. Uses of Iron and Sodium: The new battery contains iron and sodium instead of environmentally harmful chemicals.
  2. Safety even at high temperatures: This battery technology ensures safety even in extreme temperatures, making it easy to use even in particularly warm countries.
  3. Inexpensive: The new sodium-ion battery stands out for its cost-effective manufacturing, this leads to lower costs for energy storage solutions.
  4. Locally Sourced Materials: The battery can be manufactured using locally sourced materials, which can shorten production supply chains. This contributes to more sustainable and efficient manufacturing.
  5.  160 kWh: The current generation of sodium-ion batteries is initially designed for energy storage and offers an energy density of 160 watt hours per kilogram. In addition to storage, this battery will also be used for electromobility in the future.
  6. Bio-based hard carbon anode: The battery's anode is made of bio-based hard carbon, indicating an environmentally friendly and sustainable choice of material. The cathode is based on Prussian white, an iron-based complex.

The new technology is considered promising

“...battery technology like this is also crucial to reach global sustainability goals...” says the CEO and co-founder of Northvolt. He also emphasizes the influence of innovation on global electrification in the future: Sodium-ion technology offers a basis for future energy storage solutions that will further drive the upcoming energy transition.

Hope for a faster energy transition

The announcement creates hope for a progressive energy transition in the foreseeable future. And it is also urgently needed: a sustainable energy economy is an essential way to protect our earth from long-term consequences and environmental disasters. Nevertheless, a successful and sustainable energy transition requires much more than innovative batteries: the associated regulation of battery disposal, an increase in energy efficiency and careful use of energy resources are also necessary. This is the only way we can achieve a comprehensive and successful transformation towards sustainability.


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