Battery manufacturer CATL has introduced a sodium-ion battery. It is said to offer high energy density as well as fast charging capability and to have very good thermal stability.
The sodium-ion battery from Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. limited (CATL) has a similar operating principle to the lithium-ion battery. However, compared to lithium ions, sodium ions have a larger volume and higher requirements for structural stability and kinetic properties of materials. To increase the capacity, CATL used Prussian-white material with higher specific capacity at the cathode and redesigned the structure by rearranging the electrons. For the anode material, CATL developed a porous hard carbon material to guarantee storage and cycling stability.
The energy density of the sodium-ion battery cell unveiled at CATL’s “Tech Zone” event reaches up to 160 Wh/kg, according to the manufacturer. The battery can be charged to 80 % SOC in 15 min at room temperature. At an ambient temperature of -20 °C, the capacity retention rate is said to be more than 90 %. The development target for the next generation of sodium-ion batteries is an energy density of over 200 Wh/kg.
CATL has also developed an AB battery system solution using sodium-ion batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Here, the different battery systems in the integrated solution are controlled by a battery management system. With the sodium-ion battery, the manufacturer bypasses the use of lithium, the mining of which causes water pollution and the release of toxic chemicals through leaching and air emissions, causing environmental problems.