A new solid-state sodium battery development project being worked on by researchers at Iowa State University (amongst others) was recently awarded $3 million in new funding via ARPA-E’s 2015 OPEN funding initiative, according to recent reports. (ARPA-E stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.)

The new research project in question is headed by Steve W Martin — an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in materials science and engineering and an associate of the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory. Along with the research team at Iowa State University, other collaborators include the University of Colorado, the University of Houston, Solid Power Inc, and Washington State University.


The solid-state sodium (Na) battery in question (the one that the project is developing) is intended to work at room temperature, while utilizing “a benign and scalable solid-stack design for a long cycle life.” The expectation is that the new battery will possess a roughly 20% increase in energy density, as compared to state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries.

Research head Steve W Martin commented: “When we look at ways to efficiently store energy from wind and solar sources, lithium-based batteries are expensive and world-wide geological resources of lithium are actually quite limited. A sodium-based battery, on the other hand, has the potential to store larger amounts of electrical energy at a significantly lower cost. And, nearly all countries have access to large amounts of sodium.

(This news story is from EV Obsession)

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