In 2023, the industrialization of sodium electricity will usher in a key node. Based on the differentiation of positive electrode materials, sodium electricity has developed into three technical routes: layered oxides, polyanionic compounds, and Prussian compounds.
Due to the different advantages and disadvantages of the three major technical routes, as well as different market demands and response speeds, there are also differences in the progress of industrialization.
Specifically, layered oxides have the best performance in terms of energy density and rate performance among the three technical routes, and have taken the lead in completing industrialization. The companies that have deployed this route mainly include Honeycomb Energy, Funeng Technology, Phylion Power, Zhongkehaina, Rongbai Technology, etc.
Polyanionic compounds have high stability and electrochemical stability, and have the longest theoretical cycle life. They have broad application prospects in landing low-speed vehicles and energy storage, and their industrialization speed is relatively fast. At present, companies that have deployed this route include Zhongna Energy, Penghui Energy, and Na Innovation Energy.
In terms of Prussian compounds, due to the production of crystallization and the generation of toxic gases after thermal runaway, etc., the current industrialization progress is relatively slow. The companies that have entered the market include Ningde Times, Midland New Materials, and Hua Na New Materials.
The road to industrialization of layered oxide sodium electricity is "clear"
Layered oxides are currently the mainstream technical route for sodium batteries. In terms of structure, they can be compared to ternary materials in lithium batteries. They have relatively high specific capacity, and can be solved by doping other elements to solve the problems of easy phase transition, high residual alkali, and easy moisture absorption. Difficulties, and its technological process is similar to that of ternary materials, and it is the first to complete industrialization.
Since the beginning of 2023, many companies have officially announced sodium power projects, which will further promote the application of layered oxide sodium power.
In the light vehicle market, Phylion released the first-generation sodium battery "Super Sodium F1" on January 12. This battery will be used in two-wheeled Phylion vehicles in the future. It is about 20% lower than the current lithium battery.
In the power market, Funeng Technology received the "EV3 sodium battery appointment letter" from Jiangling Group on February 28, providing it with sodium-ion battery pack assembly services, and will start mass production of batteries before June 30 this year. Previously, Funeng Technology stated that the technical route in sodium electricity is layered oxide + hard carbon.
In the field of energy storage, Zhongkehaina has released a variety of sodium batteries, including 12Ah cylindrical batteries, with an energy density of 140Wh/kg and a cycle life of 2000-3000 times; square batteries have developed 80Ah and 240Ah batteries. The core can be used in different fields such as electric passenger vehicles, industrial and commercial energy storage, and home energy storage.
From the perspective of materials, Zhongkehaina’s 1,000-ton sodium electricity anode and cathode material production line has been running stably for half a year. The line will be put into production in the third quarter of 23.
Polyanion sodium battery: focus on long cycle life, full energy storage potential
Polyanionic compounds have a strong and open three-dimensional network structure, which can be compared to lithium iron phosphate in lithium battery materials, with a gram capacity of 80-130 mAh/g, high stability and electrochemical stability, and the longest theoretical cycle life.
However, due to the poor conductivity and low energy density of polyanions, the cost of the vanadium-doped line is relatively high, and the energy density of the iron-doped line is poor. Currently, it is mainly used as a reserve solution.
Gaogong Energy Storage believes that the polyanion technology route has the lowest cost among the three materials, and it may be more advantageous in the continuous decline of lithium ore prices. On the application side, the material is more suitable for the energy storage market due to its longest theoretical cycle life.
Not only that, the polyanion technical route includes sodium vanadium phosphate, sodium manganese vanadium phosphate, sodium ferric sulfate, etc. It is worth mentioning that Zhongna Energy, the head enterprise of the new sodium power industry, mainly focuses on the R&D and manufacturing of sodium ferric sulfate batteries.
At present, Zhongna Energy has achieved a laboratory battery energy density of 160wh/kg, and an engineering battery cell of 120wh/kg, with excellent high and low temperature and rate performance. At present, Zhongna Energy has achieved the first batch of sodium electricity energy storage modules and low-speed two-wheeler PACK off the assembly line.
Last year, Zhongna Energy has completed the actual landing project of sodium electricity on two-wheeled vehicles and energy storage systems.
In October 2022, Zhongna Energy and GoodWe reached a cooperation to jointly promote the "Li+/Na+ mixed 2.8MWh liquid-cooled energy storage system joint research and development project". The plan includes several 1P48S liquid-cooled battery packs and a full set of 2.8MWh lithium-sodium Hybrid liquid cooling energy storage system. Through the cluster-level installation, commissioning and trial operation of lithium and sodium battery packs, strive to achieve compatible composite use.
In December 2022, Zhongna Energy has signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement with a listed car company with the top three installed capacity of two-wheelers in the world. Sodium iron sulfate batteries and supporting battery systems suitable for the electric vehicle market.
Prussian sodium-type electricity: few companies enter the market, and the competition pattern is small
The Prussian compound is a typical cubic crystal structure, and all its metal ions are located at the top corners of the cube. It has a large tunnel structure, which allows the free intercalation and deintercalation of sodium ions. The theoretical rate performance and cycle performance are excellent. The gram capacity can reach 90-140mAh/g.
However, due to the difficulty in controlling crystal water in the mass production of Prussian compounds, the current stability is poor, and the process control needs to be further matured. The progress of industrialization will increase simultaneously with the progress of research.
Previously, the materials used in the first generation of sodium batteries launched by Ningde era were Prussian compounds. According to the latest news, Ningde era is committed to promoting the industrialization of sodium ion batteries in 2023, and is currently comprehensively promoting sodium ion, M3P, Condensed matter, drill-free batteries, all-solid-state batteries, and rare metal-free batteries and other battery technology layouts.
According to the analysis of GGII, the deployment of Prussian compound cathode materials by pigment enterprises has certain advantages in technology and resources, the speed of entry is fast, and the production cost can be better controlled. It will become a trend for pigment enterprises to deploy Prussian compound cathode materials.
Gaogong Energy Storage has noticed that Midland New Materials and Qicai Chemical have invested the most in the industrialization of Prussian compounds. On January 6, Midland New Materials and its subsidiary Meicai New Materials signed a "Strategic Cooperation Agreement" with Cubic New Energy and Colorful Chemicals to jointly develop and experiment on Prussian blue (white), a cathode material for sodium-ion batteries. The first period of cooperation for 10 years.
On March 5, Midland New Materials, Qicai Chemicals, and Meicai New Materials signed an investment agreement to increase the capital of Xingkong Nadian. The rights are transferred to Meicai New Materials without compensation. Previously, Xingkong Sodium Power has completed the application of Prussian blue sodium batteries in the pouch battery system, and established a pilot test line for sodium batteries.
In general, the road to the industrialization of layered oxide sodium batteries is relatively clear, and there are many companies entering the market. The production capacity plan for 2023 is relatively large, and a breakthrough has been achieved in supporting A00 models, and the application of the application is broader; The market demand for two-wheeled vehicles and energy storage with higher cycle life requirements is greater; the industrialization progress of Prussian compounds is relatively slow.