The next generation of batteries comes from a 3D printer

The increasing use of renewable energies and the electrification of our society create a huge need for batteries to store electrical energy. New battery designs are needed to prevent the depletion of the earth’s mineral resources. Therefore, Åbo Akademi University in Turku (Finland) launched the SUSTEC project in which it combines 3D printing technology with renewable materials with high temperature technology. This is what the university says in a press release.

It is planned to replace the lithium in the cathode with sodium and the graphite in the anode with a wood-based carbon-based material. Because sodium is abundant, unlike lithium: it must be extracted by mining, for example. We can very easily extract sodium from our seawater.

“The energy density of a sodium battery is slightly lower than that of a lithium battery, so we don’t expect the new generation of batteries to be more efficient. Our fundamental goal is to make batteries more durable than before. The project is a relevant contribution to global research. It has several unique aspects and is an important new opening for battery research at Åbo Akademi University,” says Johan Bobacka, Professor of analytical chemistry at the Molecular Science and Engineering Laboratory of Åbo Akademi University.

wood-based materials

In addition, the researchers want to manufacture a solid electrolyte in which the electrodes are embedded. To develop components for the new batteries, researchers will apply 3D printing technology and wood-based materials.

“What is unique about our project is that we are trying to use bio-based materials to create the right properties for the solid electrolyte,” said Chunlin Xu, professor of renewable materials chemistry at the Materials Technology Laboratory. natural sciences from Åbo Akademi University.

Read the full press release here.