In January 2022, Reliance New Energy Solar Limited – a subsidiary of India’s biggest private enterprise – purchased a company called Faradion Limited for about 100 million British pounds.
Faradion is a technology pioneer in the sodium ion battery space. These batteries have had a higher profile recently due to sustainability concerns around lithium ion batteries.
I’ve previously done a video [below] about sodium ion batteries. In this follow-up video, let’s take a look at this purchase and what it says about this tantalizing technology.
Price lithium vs sodium per tonne: $5000 vs $150.
Energy density: lithium vs sodium per kg: 270 Wh vs 160 Wh.
Smaller energy density doesn’t need to be as problem for grid storage: simply dig a hole and place them underground.
[pubs.acs.org] – How Comparable Are Sodium-Ion Batteries to Lithium-Ion
[cen.acs.org] – Reliance buys sodium-ion battery start-up Faradion
[spectrum.ieee.org] – Sodium-Ion Batteries Poised to Pick Off Large-Scale Lithium-Ion Applications
[wikipedia.org] – Sodium-ion battery
The sodium-ion battery (NIB) is a type of rechargeable battery analogous to the lithium-ion battery, but using sodium ions (Na+) as the charge carriers. Its working principle and cell construction are almost identical with those of the commercially widespread lithium-ion battery types, but sodium compounds are used instead of lithium compounds.
Sodium-ion batteries have received much academic and commercial interest in the 2010s and 2020s as a possible complementary technology to lithium-ion batteries, largely due to the uneven geographic distribution, high environmental impact and high cost of many of the elements required for lithium-ion batteries. Chief among these are lithium, cobalt, copper and nickel, which are not strictly required for many types of sodium-ion batteries. The largest advantage of sodium-ion batteries is the high natural abundance of sodium. This would make commercial production of sodium-ion batteries less costly than lithium-ion batteries.
As of 2020, sodium ion batteries have very little share of the battery market. The technology is unmentioned in a United States Energy Information Administration report on battery storage technologies. No electric vehicles use sodium ion batteries. Challenges to adoption include low energy density and a limited number of charge-discharge cycles.