The lithium-ion battery could well have found its replacement… In any case, this is the promise of the company Tiamat, which has developed a sodium-based battery. An alternative that has everything right, and whose industrialization is planned for 2025.
It’s a silent revolution that is shaking the world ofenergyenergy, and it starts with a cordless screwdriver! Marketed this month by the Leroy-Merlin brand, its battery, 100% made in France, is based on… sodiumsodium, present in salt! An ecological and economical alternative to our current lithium-bottle batteries – a mattermatter a rare premiere, under tension and raising serious ethical and environmental questions.
The principle of the sodium-ion battery
The sodium-ion battery works on the same principle as a lithium-ion battery. It is composed of two electrodeselectrodes : the cathodecathode and theanodeanode, bathed in a conductive solution called “electrolyte”. At the anode, the atomsatoms of sodium lose electronselectrons to form sodium ions (Na⁺) – atoms whose electric charge is not in equilibrium. These electrons released at the anode flow through the external circuit to the cathode. This contains materials capable of attracting sodium ions, which join it by “navigating” through the electrolyte. When recharging, the same mechanism occurs in the other direction, from the cathode to the anode.
A battery that has everything good
The sodium battery has significant advantages:
- the raw material, salt, is abundant;
- the design of a sodium battery is approximately the same as for the lithium battery;
- on durationduration life is announced to be around ten years, compared to three to four years for a lithium battery;
- it has high safety standards;
- the recharge time is ten times longer than for a lithium battery.
“Sodium batteries are the future!” »enthuses Jean-Marie Tarascon in the columns of Journal of the CNRS. This eminent researcher is behind the creation, in 2017, of Tiamat, a French company specializing in the development of sodium-ion batteries which provided our cordless screwdriver with its famous battery. This young start-upstart-up is engaged in a race with Chinese giant CATL, but benefits from an exclusive licensing agreement with the CNRSallowing it to draw at will from a portfolio of patents held by the institution.
Next step in its development: the opening of a factory in Amiens, which is scheduled to open in 2025, and which should enable the creation of a thousand jobs in the region with the aim of marketing throughout Europec for power wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, but also vehicles and portable tools.
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