To further India’s electric mobility ambition, startup Rechargion Energy, an official spin-off business of CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), has discovered a safer, more sustainable, and economically viable alternative to lithium batteries.
For more than a decade, researchers engaged in the project have been working on a number of energy storage methods. They created a laboratory-scale prototype rechargeable battery using indigenous technology, which is based on proprietary hard carbon material and sodium compounds. Unlike lithium-ion battery, all the raw material are domestically available and much cheaper.
The novelty in the NCL-developed sodium-ion batteries as compared to other laboratory work in the country is that the electrode material are patented by Rechargion Energy and the anode material used by the researchers is a polymer, making these batteries commercially viable.
The company has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Automotive Research Association of India. (ARAI). By the end of the year, the minimum viable product with field demonstration will be ready. The projected cost per watt hour is Rs 11-12, with a battery life of 12-15 years.
Anticipating the potential, the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum, Tata Power-backed Social Alpha have funded the startup to scale up the pilot-level manufacturing. The firm is also supported by ARAI, Venture Centre, Pune, and Rice University, Houstan USA, in the pursuit of market-fit product.
Reference- PR Agency Feed, Times Of India, Rechargion website, Journal, Materials Today Sustainability by Elsevier