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opeRando chEmical spAce- and time-resoLved quantification of Solid Electrolyte Interphase in hard carbon anode for sustainable sodium-ion batteries

Project description

Capturing how electrolytes behave at electrode interfaces in real time

Sodium-ion batteries are a low-cost and sustainable alternative to the widely used lithium-ion batteries. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the REALSEI project aims to detect in real time the solid electrolyte interphase formation on the surface of the anode from the electrochemical reduction of the electrolyte. This process that negatively affects the long-term stability of sodium-ion batteries remains poorly explored. The project plans to establish comprehensive time- and space-resolved surface characterisation techniques based on the use of high-resolution synchrotron X-ray imaging.


The goal of REALSEI is to visualize for the first time in real-time the Solid Electrolyte Interphase formation at the hard-carbon (HC) anode in a Na-ion battery (NIB). Local electrochemical processes occurring at the solid-liquid interface of Na-ion batteries are currently largely unexplored. To keep global warming around 2.7°C by 2100, the installed global grid energy storage capacity needs to be tripled by 2050. A technological breakthrough is required to meet this challenge: we need a low cost and sustainable alternative to Li-ion batteries. Thanks to recent advances, the so-called ‘beyond-lithium’ batteries (BLB) such as K+ and Na+ based systems could be an everyday reality. Bio-waste mesoporous hard carbon (BHC) is one of the most promising anode materials as a universal ion host for BLBs. The use of BHC as a low-cost and recycled solution in BLBs might provide the breakthrough required and give rise to the next generation of batteries. However, uncontrolled SEI formation limits the large-scale application of BHC in BLBs, in particular for Na-ion batteries (NIBs), the most mature and promising. For NIBs, the SEI is still an unresolved issue that limits its long-term stability. REALSEI wants to establish a comprehensive operando time- and space- resolved characterization methodology to transit from bulk (transmission mode) to surface analytical characterization (grazing incidence mode) based on lab and synchrotron high-resolution X-ray techniques which will results for the first time in a comprehensive visualization and quantification of the species forming the SEI in real-time on HC. REALSEI will apply principles of physics and electrochemistry and its results will have substantial scientific, technological, and societal impact.


Net EU contribution
€ 183 473,28
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
00185 Roma

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Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 183 473,28