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IIT-Kharagpur scientists innovate fast-charging Na-ion batteries for e-cycle

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IIT Kharagpur has announced that its scientists have developed Sodium-ion batteries which are cheaper than lithium-based batteries, high performing, and can be scaled up to industrial-level production.

Taking advantage of the fact that Sodium-ion batteries can be charged rapidly, the IIT team has integrated them into e-cycles – an easy, affordable option for the public.

Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries have triggered academic and commercial interest as a possible complementary technology to lithium-ion batteries because of the high natural abundance of sodium and the consequent low costs of Na-ion batteries.

The IIT team has used nanomaterials to develop Na-ion-based batteries and supercapacitors, which can be rapidly charged and integrated into e-cycles. The low-cost Sodium-ion-based technologies would be cheap and are expected to reduce the cost of the e-cycles significantly.

The team led by Professor in the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Dr. Amreesh Chandra, has been researching to develop energy storage technologies, which are based on Na-ion, and his team has developed many nanomaterials.

The team has used sodium iron phosphates and sodium manganese phosphates which they synthesized to obtain Na-ion-based batteries and supercapacitors with support from the Technology Mission Division (TMD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. These sodium materials were combined with various novel architectures of carbon to develop a battery.

The Na-ion cell can also be discharged to zero volts, similar to a capacitor, making it a safer option in comparison to many other storage technologies.

With further development, the price of these vehicles can be brought down to the range of Rs. 10-15,000, making them nearly 25 percent cheaper than Li-ion storage technologies-based e-cycles.

As disposal strategies of Na-ion-based batteries would be simpler, it can also help in addressing the climate mitigation issue. The research on the Supercapacitors was published in the Journal of Power Sources, and a few patents are in the pipeline for the use of these Na-ion-based batteries in e-cycles.

This research activity was funded under the DST's Materials for Energy Storage scheme. 

Author : Debi Dash
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