Sodium Batteries or Boost Demand for tungsten Disulfide
- Category: Tungsten’s News
- Published on Thursday, 10 June 2021 18:00
The advent of sodium batteries may boost the demand for tungsten disulfide (WS2). It is understood that CATL plans to release sodium batteries around July this year. Although its safety is relatively high, the price of sodium raw materials is relatively reasonable, and the reserves of sodium resources are abundant, it may make up for the shortcomings of the current market-based lithium-ion batteries. However, as the current supply chain of sodium ion batteries is not mature enough, the price may be higher than lithium-ion batteries.
Due to the limitations of existing production technology and production equipment, the energy density of sodium-ion batteries currently manufactured is far lower than that of lithium-ion batteries, only 120Wh/kg, it could only be used in areas where energy density is not high, such as communication base stations.
According to the "Communications Statistics Bulletin 2020", the total number of mobile communication base stations nationwide will reach 9.31 million in 2020, a net increase of 900,000 for the whole year. Among them, the total number of 4G base stations reached 5.75 million, achieving deep coverage in urban areas. With the advancement of 5G network construction, more than 718,000 5G base stations have been opened, of which China Telecom and China Unicom have jointly built and shared more than 330,000 5G base stations.
In order to accelerate the scale development of independent networking and promote dual gigabit network coordination, China plans to build 600,000 5G base stations in 2021. According to the current coverage rate, by 2025, the number of 5G base stations in my country will reach about 5 million. According to the mobile 5G base station bidding cost of 500,000/seat, the direct investment in 5G base stations will reach 2.5 trillion yuan.
As of the end of 2020, the cumulative installed capacity of China's operational energy storage projects was 35.6GW, a year-on-year increase of 9.8%. The "Fourteenth Five-Year Plan" outlines that in 2021, the construction of pumped storage power stations and the large-scale application of new energy storage technologies will be accelerated. It is estimated that the installed capacity of pumped energy storage will reach 37GW this year; the cumulative installed capacity is expected to exceed 141GW in 2026.
Driven by many favorable factors such as the new national standard, sharing, takeaway, express delivery, etc., the electric bicycle industry will usher in explosive growth in 2020. Some institutions predict that domestic electric bicycle production will reach 47.385 million units this year, a year-on-year increase of 40%.
It can be seen that whether it is base stations, energy storage power stations or electric bicycles, there is still a lot of room for development to spur the increase in demand for batteries, which in turn can promote the emergence of more new energy storage materials such as WS2.
Tungsten disulfide is a layered material with significant surface effects, electronic mobility and thermochemical stability, so it is often compounded with graphene (C) and used as the anode material of sodium ion batteries. Studies have shown that the composite material (WS2/C) exhibits a high reversible specific capacity of 270mAh/g at 100mA/g, which can effectively make up for the shortcomings of single-component WS2 or C as anode materials.
In general, WS2/C composite materials improve the overall performance of sodium batteries. Under the effects of the expected good development of downstream industries such as 5G base stations, energy storage power stations, and electric bicycles, the demand for tungsten disulfide may usher in a turning point.
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