No more phone battery explosions! A Taiwanese school introduces the 'sodium-ion battery'

It's greener, safer, and costs way less than lithium-ion batteries

(Image courtesy of Pexels)

(Image courtesy of Pexels)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Remember the Samsung Note 7 self-exploding accidents two years ago? The lithium-ion batteries are believed to be the culprits for the accidents. Now a new type of battery developed by a Taiwanese university research team is believed to be a safe and eco-friendly alternative to the lithium-ion ones.

The lithium-ion batteries are ideal for portable devices as they can pack around six times more energy than a lead-acid battery of the same size, but lithium is a highly reactive substance that puts users at risk if the temperatures are rising or membrane-based separators are breached.

The revolutionary "sodium-ion battery" developed by Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University is "toxic-free" and "more stable," though it performs less well in terms of energy storage by 50 percent compared to the lithium-ion battery. However, the cost of making sodium-ion batteries is merely 5 percent of its lithium-ion counterparts.

According to a UDN report, the team spent a year to develop the safe and green option for portable devices.

The professors leading the project, Hung Fei-yi (洪飛義) and Lui Truan-sheng (呂傳盛), stated that the sodium-ion battery is toxic-free, so the end-of-life battery doesn't need special treatment as the lithium-ion ones do. The professors said that the new battery is ideal for large-scale green energy projects such as wind turbines and solar generators.

The photo shows the team behind the sodium-ion battery project (Image credit: National Cheng Kung University)