Researchers Dr A S Prakash and Dr K Ramesha at the Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI) have made considerable progress in their development of a Sodium-ion cell.
Starting with 200 mAH capacity (3.6V), they have slowly raised the capacity to 700 mAH. Their target is to reach 1 AH, which they are confident of achieving soon. They know what is to be done, they know how to do it, but the issue is with fabrication of materials—cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator. They are not yet revealing what these materials are, but they say all these have to be manufactured in-house, since the materials are not readily available in the market. There are, of course, many teething problems, but the researchers are confident of tackling them. Prakash says that they could achieve their milestone of 1 AH any time—it could be in a month, or go up to six months. But never mind, it is a cinch.
These Sodium-ion cells, being of low energy density and heavier—Lithium-ion scores over Sodium-ion on both these counts—and so they can be used in non-automotive applications, such as electronic devices. Still, CECRI is almost on par with any other research institution in the world in Sodium-ion cell research and hence quite in the vanguard of things.
CECRI is open to sponsored research offers. Already a clutch of small and medium companies have approached the institute with offers, which are being evaluated. There is still scope for more collaborations.
Interested parties may get in touch with:
Dr. A S Prakash
CECRI, Taramani Campus
Please also see: IIT Madras makes Iron-ion cells