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Old 17th March 2017, 08:12   #1
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Default Creator of Lithium-Ion Battery invents a new Sodium-based Battery

Lithium-Ion batteries power most of what we use wirelessly today, including laptops, cellular-phones and electric cars. It was co-created by a scientist by name John Goodenough and it went on sale in a Sony device in 1991, the rest as they say is history.

History in retrospect also means the past and if Goodenough, at age 94, has his way the Lithium-Ion is all set to become the past with his new prototype battery making its way out - a battery made almost entirely of glass, is resistant to extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and also one that can hold upto three times more charge than a Lithium-Ion battery.

The core of the battery is - sodium, yes sodium that is available in vast quantities off the ocean. For the benefit of the forum, I tried my best to understand how it works by some extensive reading, and for those who have reasonable understanding of chemistry (unlike myself), here's the gist :

- Sodium (NA) located in the negative electrode - the anode
- Glass electrolytes with ferrocene (Dicyclopentadienyliron) as a sandwich compound which is resistant to spontaneous ignition at room temperature yet is a transition metal composed of a single hydrocarbon. It aids as a catalyst.
- Copper positive electrode - the cathode.

The glass electrolytes are risk free, unlike the liquid electrolytes that are used in lithium-ion batteries to transport the lithium-ions. In the latter's case, dendrite (tiny, fibre-like tufts of lithium) grows within the battery and these dendrites are flammable when the battery is subjected to excess heat and rapid-charging (seems to be the core cause of Samsung Note fires), the glass-electrolytes seem to be safe as far as their research goes. This opens up the true possibility of rapid-charge minus the risks.

This technology will also be substantially cheaper as the alkali metal sodium is widely available and can easily be extracted as compared to say lithium which has to be mined.

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Old 17th March 2017, 10:11   #2
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Default re: Creator of Lithium-Ion Battery invents a new Sodium-based Battery

All very fine, but remember Na is quote a bit heavier than Li. So other things being equal Na based batteries will be heavier than the equivalent Li batteries. The ionisation energy of Li is 5.3917eV and of Na is 5.1391eV, about the same. Sodium is about twice as dense as Lithium, but this seems to be more suited for static than mobile applications.
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