Optimising sodium storage in a low-cost lithium battery alternative
Sodium (Na)-ion batteries utilise low-cost and abundantly available Na rather than expensive lithium (Li). However, the amorphous and porous carbon anodes that store Li ions so well pose a challenge when it comes to storing Na ions. Since there are currently no detailed models of hard carbon accounting for its microstructural complexity, it is nearly impossible to optimise the carbon–Na interface. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the OptiCarb project is developing realistic models of hard carbon anodes. These will enable a very close look at Na adsorption in the confined space of carbon pores that will help engineers optimise Na storage capacity, removing the barrier to commercialisation.