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Innovation

“Wetting” a battery’s appetite for renewable energy storage

The traditional design of sodium-beta batteries, which uses pure molten sodium for a negative electrode, can be inefficient, as the sodium tends to ball up on the surface of the battery’s ceramic electrolyte, as shown on the left. PNNL researchers developed a new negative electrode made of a sodium-cesium alloy that almost completely coats, or “wets,” the electrolyte surface, as shown on the right.
“Running at lower temperatures can make a big difference for sodium-beta batteries and

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