Feb 29, 2024

Fire-resistant sodium battery balances safety, cost and performance

Posted by in categories: innovation, materials

A sodium battery developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin significantly reduces fire risks from the technology, while also relying on inexpensive, abundant materials to serve as its building blocks.

Though battery fires are rare, increased battery usage means these incidents are on the rise.

The secret ingredient to this battery breakthrough, published recently in Nature Energy, is a solid diluent. The researchers used a salt-based solid diluent in the electrolyte, facilitating the charge-discharge cycle. A specific type of salt—sodium nitrate—allowed the researchers to deploy just a single, nonflammable solvent in the electrolyte, stabilizing the battery as a whole.

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