THE ROLE OF BATTERIES IN NEAR-FUTURE ENERGETICS
Since the first oil crisis in early 70-ties, the electrochemists strive to develop a chemical power source able to replace the liquid fossil fuels in traffic. Noticeable success was achieved in the decade 1980-1990. Thanks to a new class of materials – intercalate compounds, a new battery called lithium-ion battery was commercialized, having much higher energy density than its predecessors. In this work the origin of its high energy density is explained. The emergence of new battery supported effectively the expansion of use and the development of portable electronics - mobile phones, lap-top calculators tablets etc. Since 2010, connected to the global intentions to prevent climate changes, the batteries received the role of the energy sources of electric cars. Recently, connected to the rising use of renewable energy sources known to suffer of changeable intensity, batteries take also the role of grid energy storage, having the function to smooth the disturbances in grid voltage. All this caused huge rise in batteries usage, and poses the question about the availability of global resources of lithium, cobalt and nickel needed for battery production. The recent forecast is that these resources will be exhausted very soon in the decade 2030-2040. Thus, there is a strong need to search for new battery types, to maintain, at least partly, available lithium resources for more demanding applications. As a part of solutions having real perspective, the development of sodium-ion battery is currently in progress. In that sense, some perspective anode and cathode materials were considered.
Keywords: climate changes; intercalate compounds; Li-ion battery; metal resources; Na-ion battery.