Schematic model demonstrating grain boundaries and phase interfaces formations for copper sulfide anodes used in sodium ion batteries (Image source: KAIST)

The world keeps looking for cheaper, safer, longer lasting, and more powerful alternatives to lithium ion batteries. Commercial lithium ion batteries have been around since 1991 and have found applications powering everything from personal electronics, to electric vehicles (EVs), to electric power grids.

Sodium ion batteries have shown some promise—sodium ions replace the lithium ions as charge carriers inside the battery during charging and discharging. Sodium is significantly more available and cheaper than lithium. Sodium ion batteries could also be safer—they can be completely drained of their charge during shipping or storage, while lithium ion batteries need to maintain about 30% of their charge providing energy that could ignite a fire if the batteries are somehow damaged.

Commercial lithium ion batteries use intercalation-type materials, such as graphite, to serve as anode (negative electrode) materials that store and release lithium ions between planes of carbon atoms. But graphite anodes have not been viable for high-capacity sodium storage due to their insufficient spacing between the carbon atom layers to accommodate sodium ions.

To build viable sodium ion batteries, a search is on for materials that can achieve higher capacity in the anode. Most such materials unfortunately have large volume expansions and abrupt crystallographic changes when incorporating sodium ions, which lead to severe capacity degradation.

A team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has described in a news release their work using copper sulfide as an anode storage medium for sodium ion batteries. Professor Jong Min Yuk’s team confirmed the stable sodium storage mechanism using copper sulfide that is pulverized and that induces capacity recovery. According to the news release, “Their findings suggest that when employing copper sulfide, sodium ion batteries will have a lifetime of more than five years with one charge per a day. Even better, copper sulfide, composed of abundant natural materials such as copper and sulfur, has better cost competitiveness than lithium ion batteries, which use lithium and cobalt.”

According to Yuk, “Sodium ion batteries employing copper sulfide can advance sodium ion batteries, which could contribute to the development of low-cost energy storage systems and address the micro-dust issue.”

As with so many battery research results, the replacement of lithium ion batteries with commercial sodium ion batteries does not seem like it will happen any time soon, despite the optimism of the Korean team. But progress is continuing and the incentive to improve upon lithium ion batteries is increasing almost daily as a move to further electrification of the transportation system and battery storage for the electric grid reaches primetime.

Senior Editor Kevin Clemens has been writing about energy, automotive, and transportation topics for more than 30 years. He has masters degrees in Materials Engineering and Environmental Education and a doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in aerodynamics. He has set several world land speed records on electric motorcycles that he built in his workshop.

Drive World with ESC Launches in Silicon Valley

This summer (August 27-29), Drive World Conference & Expo launches in Silicon Valley with North America’s largest embedded systems event, Embedded Systems Conference (ESC). The inaugural three-day showcase brings together the brightest minds across the automotive electronics and embedded systems industries who are looking to shape the technology of tomorrow.

Will you be there to help engineer this shift? Register today!


  1. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little homework on this.

    And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I found it for
    him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this matter here on your site.

  2. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also
    am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have
    developed some nice practices and we are looking to swap
    methods with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.

  3. Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.
    If you know of any please share. Cheers!

  4. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance.
    I must say you have done a very good job with this. Also, the blog loads super quick for me on Chrome.

    Exceptional Blog!

  5. Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  6. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
    seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you
    could be giving us something informative to read?

  7. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site?

    The account helped me a appropriate deal. I had been a little bit
    familiar of this your broadcast offered vibrant clear

  8. Greetings I am so grateful I found your webpage, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Aol for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a remarkable post and a all
    round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read
    through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
    back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

    quest bars quest bars

  9. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be
    aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the
    whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks quest bars quest bars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.