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Researchers improve the performance of sodium-ion batteries by using tailored carbon anodes with hierarchical porosity

Researchers at Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany, have improved the performance of sodium-ion batteries (earlier post) by using tailor-made carbon materials with hierarchical porosity for the anode instead of common carbon-based anode materials. In a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, they describe achieving capacities exceeding 100 mA h g−1 at C/5 while exhibiting excellent rate capability and reasonable cycle life.

Performance of the new anodes. Wenzel et al. Click to enlarge.

A battery that uses sodium ions instead of lithium ions could potentially be much less expensive and safer, and it would be more environmentally benign. However, Na-ion batteries have exhibited weak charge-discharge behavior except at high temperature—indicative of sluggish kinetics in standard carbon anodes.

Wenzel et al. prepared a carbon material with interconnected pores in two size ranges. Comparison testing with anodes made from a series of commercial porous and reference carbons showed improved charge-storage capacity and recyclability and a 15-fold increase in room-temperature charge-discharge rates with the new material.



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