Hexbyte Glen Cove Proliferation of electric vehicles based on high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Proliferation of electric vehicles based on high-performance, low-cost sodium-ion battery

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Graphical abstract. Credit: Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)

Various automobile companies are preparing to shift from internal combustion (IC) engine vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). However, due to higher cost, EVs are not as easily accessible to consumers; hence, several governments are subsidizing EVs to promote sales. For EV costs to compete with those of IC engine vehicles, their batteries, which account for about 30% of their cost, must be more economical than IC-based vehicles.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has announced that Dr. Sang-Ok Kim’s team at the Center for Energy Storage Research had developed a novel, high-performance, economical anode material for use in sodium-ion secondary batteries, which are more cost-effective than . This novel material can store 1.5 times more electricity than the graphite anode used in commercial lithium-ion batteries and its performance does not degrade even after 200 cycles at very fast charging/discharging rates of 10 A/g.

Sodium is over 500 times more abundant in the Earth’s crust than lithium; hence, sodium-ion batteries have drawn considerable attention as the next-generation secondary battery because it is 40% cheaper than lithium-ion batteries. However, compared to lithium ions, sodium ions are larger and, thus, cannot be stored as stably in graphite and silicon, which are widely used as anodes in such batteries. Hence, the development of a novel, high-capacity anode material is necessitated.

The KIST research team used molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a metal sulfide that has garnered interest as a candidate for large-capacity anode materials. MoS2 can store a large amount of electricity, but cannot be used because of its high electrical resistance and structural instability that occur during battery operation. However, Dr. Sang-Ok Kim’s team overcame this problem by creating a ceramic nano-coating layer using silicone oil, which is a low-cost, eco-friendly material. Through the simple process of mixing the MoS2 precursor with silicone oil and heat-treating the mixture, they could produce a stable heterostructure with low resistance and enhanced stability.

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