According to new findings, sodium-ion batteries can be made with otherwise discarded goods

Man-made waste is one resource of which the Earth has no shortage. Now it’s being put to good use by a team of researchers in China, who have successfully created sodium-ion batteries using recycled materials, as published in the German science journal Angewandte Chemie.

The team dissolved ions out of rusty layers of recycled stainless steel mesh using a solution of potassium ferrocyanide. Ions including nickel and iron were then bonded to other ions in the solution, creating a salt that clung to the mesh. This salt creates nanotubes, which are then able to store and release potassium ions, allowing for conductivity.

Researchers decided to focus specifically on sustainable sodium-ion batteries in part due to some of the limitations of current lithium batteries. While extremely popular today, lithium batteries are still relatively expensive and have also been known to explode. Due to their chemical makeup, sodium-ion batteries are safer while still offering a high capacity and discharge voltage.

The team said that this first experiment was merely a proof of concept, and now that they know it works they will continue to develop the idea to improve its potential.

Angewandte Chemie

Man-made waste is one resource of which the Earth has no shortage. Now it’s being put to good use by a team of researchers in China, who have successfully created sodium-ion batteries using recycled materials, as published in the German science journal Angewandte Chemie.

The team dissolved ions out of rusty layers of recycled stainless steel mesh using a solution of potassium ferrocyanide. Ions including nickel and iron were then bonded to other ions in the solution, creating a salt that clung to the mesh. This salt creates nanotubes, which are then able to store and release potassium ions, allowing for conductivity.