Sodium, an element far more abundant than lithium, is expanding its claim to fame in the battery field. A new study from a Japanese university has suggested that a sodium compound could relatively easily replace lithium in batteries. The study , by researchers from the Nagoya Institute of Technology, found a way around the main obstacle for swapping lithium with sodium: the larger size of the ions in sodium and its different chemistry, reports. They did this by finding a sodium compound that displayed a crystal structure that was compatible with battery use, along with a favorable electric structure and electrochemical properties. The compound yielded shorter charging times than lithium-ion batteries and a potentially longer battery life. As great as this may sound, the researchers have run into a challenge: the compound, Na2V3O7, began deteriorating in the final stages of the charging process and that represented a cap […]