The core competition point of sodium battery manufacturers
Fierce competition in the field of sodium ion battery
As an effective supplement to lithium batteries in different application scenarios, sodium batteries have gained more and more attention. Recently, a number of listed companies have disclosed the recent progress of sodium batteries and their upstream materials business.
As one of the top 10 lithium ion battery manufacturer CATL said that the industrialization of its sodium-ion batteries is progressing smoothly, and it will take some time for the layout of the supply chain, and it will be officially mass-produced next year;
On November 18, Farasis stated that it expects to achieve mass production of sodium-ion batteries in 2023; On November 23, DFD also stated that its sodium-ion batteries have already rolled off the production line in small batches, and are actively contacting downstream interested customers, and will accelerate the large-scale production of sodium-ion batteries.
In addition, Ronbay in top 5 sodium-ion cathode companies in China disclosed that its current monthly shipment of sodium battery cathode materials has exceeded 10 tons. It is expected that the monthly shipment will reach 100 tons at the beginning of next year and 1,000 tons at the end of next year.
The high popularity of the sodium battery industry has also attracted many listed companies that have never participated in the battery industry chain business to participate in the layout. These new manufacturers of sodium batteries also want to take advantage of the trend of sodium batteries to take advantage of the wind.
Tongxing Environmental Protection, a comprehensive service provider for flue gas treatment in the non-electricity industry, announced in September this year that it will cooperate with China University of Science and Technology. It was disclosed on the 27th that the joint laboratory is carrying out pilot scale-up experiments on sodium-ion battery cathode materials and battery products, and the pilot production line has entered the procurement stage.
Qicai Chemical, a leading organic pigment company, disclosed its sodium battery business progress on November 16. The company and Midland Advanced Materials will jointly invest in the establishment of a new company, and will build an annual output of 180,000 tons of battery-grade Prussian blue (white) sodium battery cathode materials project.
On the same day, Fengshan Group, a pesticide company, stated that its holding subsidiary Jiangsu Fengshan Quannuo New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. signed a cooperation agreement with Jiangsu Zhongna Energy Technology Co., Ltd. The two parties intend to use Zhongna Technology’s sodium-ion secondary battery products as a carrier to promote the commercial application of sodium batteries.
Transimage Technology, whose main business is the manufacture of notebook computer components, has shown a faster pace in the sodium battery industry. In June this year, Transimage Technology announced that it intends to jointly establish a joint venture company “Jiangsu Transimage sodium Technology Co., Ltd.” through its wholly-owned subsidiary and related parties to engage in the research and development, production and sales of sodium batteries and related raw materials.
Data shows that the total production capacity of sodium batteries currently planned by Transart Technology has reached 10GWh, and its 200MWh pilot line has been put into production on October 27.
Hard carbon negative electrode and precursor technology seek breakthrough
With the layout of traditional lithium battery companies and sodium battery start-ups in full swing, on the one hand, the sodium battery industry is developing rapidly, but on the other hand, the bottleneck of sodium battery anode technology has yet to be broken through. The industrialization of sodium batteries is expected to form a preliminary industrial chain by the end of 2022, and large-scale applications will start in 2023. It is estimated that the demand for anode materials will reach 75,000 tons in 2025.
It is worth noting that hard carbon materials will become the choice of mainstream sodium anode manufacturers based on specific capacity and comprehensive cost performance. The selection of hard carbon precursors and the accumulation of process technology will build the core threshold. The sodium battery anode market has grown from scratch, and lithium battery material companies with large-scale production experience and sodium battery anode start-ups have their own advantages.
The sodium battery industry has entered the 0-1 stage, and the research and development of hard carbon anodes has become the key to speed. Manufacturers with faster R&D and mass production of sodium-electric hard carbon anode products are most likely to benefit from the demand elasticity brought by sodium-electric 0-1. In terms of application, the theoretical capacity of hard carbon materials can reach 350-400mAh/g, which can better support the fast charging and over-discharging of sodium batteries, and open up the application range of sodium batteries;
In terms of cost, the cost of sodium anodes has increased significantly to 16%, and hard carbon precursors have a large space for cost reduction. It is expected that the cost of hard carbon anodes will be reduced to that of graphite anodes by 2025; In terms of technology, there are various routes for hard carbon precursors, and the supply and cost of raw materials are the core considerations. The future hard carbon route may present a pattern of flourishing;
In terms of supply chain, the regulation, modification, doping, and coating of hard carbon precursors are the primary industrialization problems to be solved by current anode manufacturers; in terms of patents and products, biomass hard carbon has become the focus of the current layout of various battery suppliers.
On the whole, under the support of policies and the development trend of future energy transformation, sodium batteries are considered to be widely used in energy storage, low-speed electric vehicles and other fields in the future by virtue of their advantages such as low cost, good low-temperature performance and safety performance, and high charging rate.
Moreover, as technological innovation further improves the cycle life of sodium batteries, its incremental space is huge. Under the influence of the joint efforts of upstream and downstream enterprises of sodium batteries, the industrialization process is expected to accelerate.