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Anode-Free Sodium Battery

Technology #2017-004

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Prof. Palani Balaya
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Tech Offer 2017-004 Anode Free Sodium Battery [PDF]

Anode-free Sodium Battery

Palani Balaya, Ashish Rudola

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Industry Problem

The world is poised for complete electrification in the coming decades. Electric vehicles, renewable energy power plants and consumer electronics need inexpensive and high gravimetric and volumetric energy and power density batteries. The current state-of-the-art batteries, Lithium Ion Batteries (LIBs), may become prohibitively expensive in a few decades due to the limited reserves of lithium in the world. Since Anode-free Sodium Batteries (AFNBs) are reliant on the virtually inexhaustible sodium reserves, costs of such AFNBs may be perpetually low. We believe that the AFNB concept may have the potential to be used in all these types of applications, perhaps making it the ‘holy grail’ of battery technology.


This invention details a new rechargeable sodium-based battery concept with an operating principle different from that of the conventional rechargeable sodium-ion batteries (NIBs). Traditionally, NIBs have an “active material” that partakes in the actual sodium storage on the (high potential) cathode as well as on the (low potential) anode. For rechargeable NIBs to display long cycle life, both the cathode and anode active materials should reversibly accept and then release the sodium ions at each charge/discharge cycle with preferably 100 % efficiency. In such NIBs, the sodium source in an overwhelming majority of cases comes from the cathode active material only while the anode serves as a sink for this sodium. In this invention, we have successfully revealed the first Na based rechargeable battery with the active material present only at the cathode and without any active material at the anode; the anode simply consists of a current collector. This leads to significant weight and volume savings due to the fact that no active material and associated conductive additive and binder (if any) exist on the anode in this anode-free sodium battery (AFNB) concept. This leads to significant boost in both gravimetric and volumetric energy/power densities for an AFNB with respect to that of an analogous NIB or a Na metal based battery, with all other factors remaining the same.

Value Proposition

  • Improved gravimetric and volumetric energy/power density due to significant weight and volume savings as no active material and associated conductive additive and binder exist on the anode
  • Easier and cheaper battery manufacturing and production processes as no anode active material is used
  • Enhanced battery safety due to the use of non-flammable electrolyte

Potential Application

Sodium ion battery may be utilized in large scale stationary storage, electric vehicles, consumer electronics. 

For more information, contact:

NUS Industry Liaison Office

  : (65) 6516  3622



Prof. Palani Balaya

Department of Mechanical Engineering

National University of Singapore


ILO Ref: 2017-004