EnergyTrend has learned that there have been recent developments in several pilot projects related to sodium-ion battery energy storage. These developments signify significant progress in the realms of new technology breakthroughs, production capacity, and applications for sodium-ion batteries.
In 2023, there have been notable shifts in key data concerning sodium-ion batteries, and this year is being widely recognized as a pivotal one for the industrialization of sodium-ion batteries in China. In terms of policy, various global policies are poised to support the diversified advancement of sodium-ion batteries, flow batteries, and other technological pathways. Presently, numerous domestic production lines are in the planning stages for implementation, with China taking a leading role in the mass production of materials and batteries.
The influx of major enterprises into this sector is expected to result in a rapid increase in the production capacity of sodium-ion batteries, ultimately leading to the gradual establishment of a robust industrial ecosystem. When it comes to the construction of production lines, China’s sodium-ion battery capacity planning primarily involves companies such as Transimage, Natrium Energy, CATL, Zonergy, Azure, DFD, and Lifun.
Among these players, Transimage stands out as China’s foremost sodium-ion battery producer. It is anticipated to establish an exclusive mass production line dedicated to sodium-ion batteries with a staggering capacity of 4.5GWh by the close of 2023, constituting a remarkable 33.3% of the nation's overall production capacity.
Natrium Energy secures its position as the second-largest sodium-ion battery producer in the country. By the end of 2023, it is projected to inaugurate a specialized mass production line for sodium-ion batteries boasting a capacity of 2.5GWh, representing a substantial 18.5% of the total production capacity.
CATL, ranking as the third largest sodium-ion battery producer in China, is poised to unveil its dedicated mass production line for sodium-ion batteries with a capacity of 1.8GWh by the conclusion of 2023, contributing significantly with 13.3% of the nation's total production capacity. Considering the progress in commercialization, it’s evident that the sodium-ion battery industry chain is currently in its introductory phase. The technologies related to battery materials and electrolytes are at an early developmental stage, implying that it will require some time for the sodium-ion battery industry to attain full commercial viability.
In the realm of sodium-ion battery production and manufacturing enterprises, two distinct development models have emerged. One involves traditional lithium battery manufacturers like CATL and Great Power diversifying into sodium-ion battery production. The other model consists of innovative enterprises, such as Hina Battery, Natrium Energy, and Transimage, which have started from scratch to establish themselves in this field. Among these enterprises, namely Transimage, Hina Battery, DFD, PRET, Vision Group, EAST, Highstar, and ZOOLNASM, they have all disclosed their production capacity plans. Currently, most of these enterprises are in the planning or construction phases for the investment and development of mass production lines for sodium-ion batteries.
As a valuable complement to lithium batteries, sodium-ion battery technology has steadily advanced in recent years. With its cost-effectiveness and the abundance of sodium resources, sodium-ion batteries hold great promise in the realm of energy storage. They can serve as reliable backup power sources for large-scale energy storage systems.
Much like lithium-ion batteries, the primary raw materials for sodium-ion battery production encompass four key components: anode materials, cathode materials, electrolytes, and separators. Additionally, key supplementary materials such as terminals, collectors, binders, conductive agents, and casing components play pivotal roles. Fortunately, the primary production and preparation techniques for sodium-ion batteries have reached a level of maturity.
In terms of anode materials, extensive research has been dedicated to layered oxides, polyanionic materials, and Prussian blue (white), among others. Concerning cathode materials, the predominant technical approach currently centers on hard carbon, with some reliance on soft carbon. Sodium hexafluorophosphate electrolyte holds a central position in the realm of electrolytes, and there is a growing trend towards adopting low-cost aluminum foil in place of copper foil as the collector material. Diaphragm materials can follow the established system utilized in lithium batteries.
Numerous provincial policies are geared towards stimulating the commercialization of sodium-ion batteries, and the burgeoning demand for new energy storage is propelling the rapid growth of this technology. It’s imperative for enterprises to proactively establish their presence, as this enables them to gauge the market’s appetite for sodium-ion battery products within the burgeoning new energy and energy storage sector. This strategic move positions them favorably to capitalize on the surging opportunities in the flourishing sodium battery and energy storage industry.