A 12 cell module design by Williams Advanced Engineering, incorporating Faradion’s 3 Ah cells.

A 12 cell module design by Williams Advanced Engineering, incorporating Faradion’s 3 Ah cells.

Faradion is one of the new British start-ups that's developing novelty batteries.

In the case of Faradion, the focus is on sodium-ion (Na-ion).

The company recently received almost £2 million from investors:

"Start-up British battery developer Faradion is now able to push forward with its development programme following the decision of three of its investors – Finance Yorkshire, Rising Stars Growth Fund and Haldor Topsoe A/S (a global market leader in catalysis and related process technologies) – to add to funding they and a Japanese electronics giant have already provided.

Faradion now has almost £2 million of cash to invest in developing its ground breaking, low cost and high energy density batteries. The sodium-ion technology has the potential to revolutionise the supply of electric batteries for stationary storage, automotive applications and e-bikes."

Faradion stated that sodium (or common salt), is a widely available, low-cost, stable ingredient that could slash the cost of electric vehicles:

"Virtually all batteries currently available to power the new generation of low or zero emission electric vehicles rely on lithium, which is a more expensive and scarcer resource than sodium. In addition, sodium-ion battery technology offers enhanced safety, both in operation, but also crucially in transportation, for example it can be sent via air freight in a fully discharged state.

Faradion is headquartered at Sheffield University’s Innovation Centre, having put in place a pilot manufacturing line, with a second laboratory at Oxford’s Leafield Technical Centre, has an outstanding team devoted to developing this pioneering new technology."

It seems that for now the company was able to exceed energy density of popular LiFePO4 cells, although on the graph we see just >400 cycles to 80% capacity at low C/5 current. Note that the 700 Wh/kg values on the graph probably refers only to the cathode.

In a presentation, Faradion claimed 126 Wh/kg (versus 99 Wh/kg for LiFePO4), so if the price is lower, this battery chemistry could work for some EVs.