Sodium ion batteries could revolutionize energy storage, and UCLA’s STORE Center is leading the charge. Unlike lithium, sodium is abundant and offers a more geopolitically stable resource. However, sodium’s larger size presents challenges, as it encounters greater resistance moving through battery materials, leading to slower charging and shorter lifespans.
The STORE Center’s mission is to enhance sodium ion batteries to match lithium’s performance within a decade. By creating materials with larger spaces and layers that withstand sodium’s movement, they aim to reduce resistance and deformation. The center also seeks to replace costly elements like nickel and cobalt with affordable alternatives such as iron and manganese.
With a $4.5 million grant from the Department of Energy’s Energy Earthshots program, the STORE Center is poised to make significant strides. Their work not only advances scientific knowledge but also promises substantial societal benefits by fostering clean energy technologies.
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