The status of ambient temperature sodium ion batteries is reviewed in light of recent developments in anode, electrolyte and cathode materials. These devices, although early in their stage of development, are promising for large-scale grid storage applications due to the abundance and very low cost of sodium-containing precursors used to make the components. The engineering knowledge developed recently for highly successful Li ion batteries can be leveraged to ensure rapid progress in this area, although different electrode materials and electrolytes will be required for dual intercalation systems based on sodium. In particular, new anode materials need to be identified, since the graphite anode, commonly used in lithium systems, does not intercalate sodium to any appreciable extent. A wider array of choices is available for cathodes, including high performance layered transition metal oxides and polyanionic compounds. Recent developments in electrodes are encouraging, but a great deal of research is necessary, particularly in new electrolytes, and the understanding of the SEI films. The engineering modeling calculations of Na-ion battery energy density indicate that 210 Wh kg−1 in gravimetric energy is possible for Na-ion batteries compared to existing Li-ion technology if a cathode capacity of 200 mAh g−1 and a 500 mAh g−1 anode can be discovered with an average cell potential of 3.3 V.
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