University of St. Andrews

Development of high temperature sodium batteries for rapid response

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DSTL funded project

3.5 year PhD with standard stipend

St Andrews University has developed a sodium-nickel chloride based battery concept capable of meeting performance criteria in terms of power and energy density, for example in Space Applications A concept based upon a porous ceramic skeleton of Nasicon (a sodium zirconium silicon phosphate) electrolyte has been developed. Measurements showed that the electrochemical performance on thick dense electrolytes were sufficient to meet technology targets when one scales to the thin electrolytes utilised in the proposed concept, with a membrane thickness of 40 microns, allowing the required 1 Acm-2 performance to be delivered at temperature.

In this study, we will seek to develop the battery structure through materials processing, materials charactersisation and electrochemical studies at high temperature. Three phases are envisaged.

  1. Optimisation of thin membrane sandwich structure manufacture, particularly focusing on ink formulation, thermal regime and lamination method.
  2. Investigation of electrode performance in rapid heating experiments, revealing the profile of instantaneous performance of sodium and cathode mixture performance with temperature and time.
  3. Study of degradation mechanisms; utilising electron and Raman microscopy and x-ray diffraction.

The project is to be funded by UK Government. The nominated Research PhD student will preferably be a British National.

Further information and informal enquiries may be directed to Professor John Irvine, email:

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Development of high temperature sodium batteries for rapid response
St Andrews St Andrews, United Kingdom
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St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world, founded in 1413.

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