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The industrialization of sodium-ion batteries is accelerating. These scenarios or changes?
Time: Jun 14, 2022

The industrialization of sodium-ion batteries is accelerating. These scenarios or changes?

  Based on the accumulation of technology and under the warm air of policies, the industrialization of sodium-ion batteries in my country will begin to accelerate in 2022.

  The global electric vehicle and energy storage industries are developing rapidly, driving the demand for lithium-ion batteries, the mainstream type of battery, to grow rapidly. However, there is a sodium-ion battery with a lower cost than lithium batteries, which is being closely watched and deployed by the industry, and is expected to "make a big splash" in the energy storage and low-speed electric vehicle markets.

Recently, the National Development and Reform Commission, the National Energy Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology and other nine ministries and commissions jointly issued the "14th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy Development". and other high energy density energy storage technologies.

As early as August last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated that it would strengthen the layout in policy documents such as the "14th Five-Year Plan" related plans, and start from the promotion of cutting-edge technology research, improve supporting policies, and develop market applications. Improve industrial policies and coordinate and guide the high-quality development of the sodium-ion battery industry.

At the same time, the Ministry of Science and Technology also stated that it will implement the key project of "Energy Storage and Smart Grid Technology" during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, and list sodium-ion battery technology as a sub-task to further promote the scale and cost reduction of sodium-ion batteries. , to improve the overall performance.

   In fact, the reason why so much attention is paid to the industrialization of sodium-ion batteries is mainly due to its advantages in resource abundance and cost.

  The working principle of sodium-ion batteries is similar to that of lithium-ion batteries. It mainly relies on the movement of sodium ions between the positive electrode and the negative electrode to realize charging and discharging. It can be compatible with some of the existing raw materials and production equipment of the latter.

From the perspective of reserves, the reserves of lithium resources in the earth's crust are only 0.002%, which is less than one thousandth of sodium, and Australia, Chile, Argentina and other countries are the main producing areas in the world. The domestic lithium resources have insufficient production capacity and currently rely heavily on imports. .

   Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the earth's crust, and its geographical distribution is uniform, so it is not easy to have a resource crisis, which makes it easier to obtain sodium ion compounds and has a lower processing cost.

   From the perspective of electrochemical performance, sodium-ion batteries have relatively stable electrochemical performance and safety, and have a wide operating temperature range.

From the perspective of the applicability of sodium ion compounds, at low voltages, aluminum will not alloy with sodium, so the anode of sodium ion batteries can use aluminum current collectors, instead of using only copper current collectors like lithium batteries, which can reduce the The cost and weight of the battery.

   However, in practical applications, sodium-ion batteries have problems such as low energy density, short cycle life, and imperfect supply chain and application scenarios. To this end, a group of industry "pathfinders" have already embarked on a journey to explore all the way.

  In terms of battery companies, at present, battery companies including Ningde Times, Xinwangda, Penghui Energy, Paineng Technology, Zhongke Haina, Lishen and other battery companies have made relevant layouts for sodium-ion batteries.

In July 2021, CATL released its first-generation sodium-ion battery with a single cell energy density of 160Wh/kg, which can charge 80% of the electricity in 15 minutes at room temperature, and has a discharge retention of more than 90% at -20°C. Rate. The industry's attention to sodium-ion batteries immediately began to heat up.

  Xinwangda by announcing that it has a number of patents such as sodium replenishment method for sodium ion battery, sodium ion battery and its preparation method.

   And the progress of Zhongke Hai Na is faster. In June last year, the world's first 1MWh sodium-ion battery energy storage system was released. At the end of the same year, it joined hands with the Three Gorges Group and reached a cooperation with Fuyang City to jointly build the first large-scale production line of sodium-ion batteries. The production capacity is planned to be 5GWh. The project is scheduled to start production this year.

It is understood that Penghui Energy has made a sample of sodium ion battery (using phosphate sodium cathode and hard carbon system anode), which is in the pilot stage; the first generation of sodium ion battery products developed by Penghui Technology has also completed the pilot test . The battery trial production and large-scale mass production of various enterprises are advancing in an orderly manner.

   In addition, Battery China has learned that CATL has started the industrialization of sodium-ion batteries, and plans to form a basic industrial chain in 2023.

   From the perspective of the industrial chain, the commercialization of sodium-ion batteries is also inseparable from the supply of new materials. In terms of positive and negative materials and electrolytes, companies such as Dangsheng Technology, Polyfluoride, Huayang Co., Ltd., Yongtai Technology, Lianchuang Co., Ltd., and Zhenhua New Materials have all planned or deployed.

  As one of the leading domestic lithium battery materials companies, Dangsheng Technology and Lishen Battery have joined hands to strengthen cooperation in cutting-edge technology fields such as sodium-ion batteries and their key materials.

   Judging from the progress, the sodium hexafluorophosphate products of the fluorine chemical company Polyfluoride have been shipped in batches, and NaFSI products are being developed.

Huayang, which indirectly holds a 1.66% stake in Zhongke Haina, plans to build a thousand-ton sodium-ion battery material production line. The first phase of the project has been completed for trial production at the end of the first quarter of 2022. The sodium-ion pack battery production line is expected to be Started production at the end of the third quarter.

  Xiangfenghua, a lithium battery anode material company, has developed high-performance hard carbon anode materials for sodium-ion batteries, which are currently being tested by relevant customers.

   In addition, Yongtai Technology stated that it plans to invest in a project with an annual output of 250 tons of sodium-ion battery materials. Zhenhua New Materials and Lianchuang Co., Ltd. have also deployed research on sodium-ion battery-related materials and additives... The participating companies are still expanding.

   Not only that, the construction of sodium-ion battery-related projects has accelerated significantly in recent months. In March, the country's largest sodium-ion battery planning project, Shanxi Xinyang Clean Energy Project, was put into trial production; in April, China Construction Eighth Bureau and other units signed a contract with Wenzhou City to build 5 1GWh sodium-ion battery energy storage production line products; 5 In January, Shanghai Purna Energy's sodium-ion battery cathode material pilot test and cell experimental line project were signed.

   At the same time, this "track" has also attracted capital "entry". Zhongke Haina and Zhongna Energy received investment from Huawei's Hubble and Country Garden respectively; Na Innovation Energy and CITIC Securities signed an agreement to jointly promote the commercialization of core materials and related products for sodium-ion batteries.

  Industry chain enterprises have exerted their efforts, and all participants have accelerated their entry, which proves the optimism about the industrialization prospects of sodium-ion batteries. According to the analysis of CICC, with the popularization of energy storage and electrification of passenger cars and commercial vehicles, different application scenarios have different requirements on the cost, energy density, fast charging capacity, cycle life and safety of batteries. Various technical solutions such as "lithium ion", "sodium ion" and "sodium ion + lithium ion" are better suited to the needs of different application scenarios.

   As far as the applicable scenarios are concerned, Hu Yongsheng, founder of Zhongke Haina, believes that sodium-ion battery products will be mainly used in scenarios below 150Wh/kg, and will become a useful supplement to lithium-ion batteries in the fields of energy storage batteries and low-speed electric vehicles.

In terms of market size, Haitong Securities predicts that the global demand for sodium-ion batteries will reach about 67.4GWh by 2025, and the penetration rate will reach 3.5%.

Under the continuous increase of a series of policies, as enterprises increase investment, continuously upgrade technology, and gradually improve the industrial chain, sodium-ion batteries are expected to become an important supplement to lithium-ion batteries in the future, and become another growth pole of the battery industry, energy storage and low-speed The electric vehicle market may usher in changes.

Source: Battery China Network

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