Sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) are in the spotlight because of their potential use in large-scale energy storage devices due to the abundance and low cost of sodium-based materials. There are many SIB cathode materials under investigation but only a few candidate materials such as carbon, oxides and alloys were proposed as anodes. Among these anode materials, hard carbon shows promising performances with low operating potential and relatively high specific capacity. Unfortunately, its low initial coulombic efficiency and high cost limit its commercial applications. In this study, low-cost maple tree-biomass-derived hard carbon is tested as the anode for sodium-ion batteries. The capacity of hard carbon prepared at 1400 °C (HC-1400) reaches 337 mAh/g at 0.1 C. The initial coulombic efficiency is up to 88.03% in Sodium trifluoromethanesulfonimide (NaTFSI)/Ethylene carbonate (EC): Diethyl carbonate (DEC) electrolyte. The capacity was maintained at 92.3% after 100 cycles at 0.5 C rates. The in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis showed that no peak shift occurred during charge/discharge, supporting a finding of no sodium ion intercalates in the nano-graphite layer. Its low cost, high capacity and high coulombic efficiency indicate that hard carbon is a promising anode material for sodium-ion batteries.
Wang, Y., Feng, Z., Zhu, W., Gariépy, V., Gagnon, C., Provencher, M., … Zaghib, K. (2018). High capacity and high efficiency maple tree-biomass-derived hard carbon as an anode material for sodium-ion batteries. Materials, 11(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081294