March 10-15, 2019
The rechargeable sodium batteries, sodium sulphur (NaS) batteries and molten-salt sodium nickel chloride (Na-NiCl2) are proven commercially available systems, particularly for large-scale energy storage applications and electric vehicle applications respectively. They have attractive properties such as the use of abundant low-cost raw materials, high energy and power density, high faradaic efficiency of charge/discharge, zero self-discharge rate and proven long-term durability. Conventional manufacturing of the core component, the sodium beta”-alumina solid electrolyte, requires a high sintering temperatures, ~ 1600 °C to achieve high density and good ceramic quality, which contributes significantly to battery cost, energy and time consumption in production. Flash sintering, a novel low-cost electrical field-assisted sintering technology, has been investigated for sintering beta”-alumina samples in a collaboration between Lucideon Limited and Ionotec Limited. This work will describe the preliminary results on flash sintering equipment design and prototype sodium beta”-alumina ceramics with variation of the flash-sintering process parameters, i.e. current, frequency, times (incubation, development, holding), pulse experiments, current ramp rate, the on-set furnace temperature, sample geometry (discs versus open-ended tubes), electrode materials (Ag versus Pt paints), single versus double electrode and sample homogeneity. In particular, we will report a significant step towards scale up by showing results on homogeneously-sintered, highly dense more complex geometries such as tubes and closed end tubes using refined field sintering process.
Gareth Jones, Y. Hu, S. Ghanizadeh, D. Pearmain, S.N. Heavens, J.S. Blackburn, and S. Maclachlan, "Flash sintering of beta-alumina solid electrolytes for sodium battery applications" in "Electric Field Enhanced Processing of Advanced Materials II: Complexities and Opportunities", Rishi Raj, University of Colorado, USA Olivier Guillon, Forschungzentrum Jülich, Germany Hidehiro Yoshida, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2019). https://dc.engconfintl.org/efe_advancedmaterials_ii/87