"Salt" Batteries are FINALLY Here?! Sooo should you use them?

24 Mar 202412:28


TLDRThe video script discusses a comparison between lithium and sodium-ion batteries, highlighting the latter's potential as a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative. It explores the differences in their inner compositions, charge/discharge curves, energy densities, and safety features. The script also touches on the current limitations of sodium-ion technology, such as the lack of dedicated charging ICs and lower energy output, but suggests that with advancements and mass production, sodium-ion batteries could become a more environmentally friendly option for energy storage in the future.


  • 🔋 Both lithium and sodium-based batteries can provide portable energy for various devices, but they have different internal compositions.
  • 📈 Lithium is a scarce and expensive resource, while sodium is abundant and cost-effective, making up about 40% of table salt (sodium chloride).
  • 🌐 There is growing interest in sodium-ion (salt) batteries as the future of battery technology due to their potential cost and resource advantages.
  • 🛠️ The video aims to test and compare real sodium-ion batteries against lithium-ion ones to determine their viability as a replacement technology.
  • 🔌 The charge/discharge curve analysis is used as an electrical method to differentiate between the two types of batteries and verify the authenticity of the sodium-ion battery.
  • 📊 The lithium battery has a narrower voltage plateau (4V to 3.4V) compared to the wider plateau of the sodium battery (3.9V to 2.1V), affecting their energy output and monitoring ease.
  • ⚡️ Sodium-ion batteries have a higher internal resistance (33% more than lithium), leading to more heat generation and limiting their power capabilities.
  • 🔄 The cycle life of sodium batteries is significantly better, with 1000 cycles maintaining 85% capacity, compared to lithium batteries with 60% capacity after 250 cycles.
  • 💡 Despite lower energy density, the safety of sodium-ion batteries is a notable advantage, with no reported fires or explosions in testing.
  • 🔌 Current technology lacks dedicated charging ICs for sodium-ion batteries, but a simple charger can be built using an LM317 adjustable voltage regulator.
  • 🌱 While sodium-ion batteries have challenges and are more expensive currently, their potential for environmental friendliness and cost reduction with mass production is promising.

Q & A

  • What are the main differences between lithium and sodium-based batteries?

    -Lithium-based batteries have a narrower voltage plateau and can deliver more energy (8.7Wh) compared to sodium-ion batteries of the same size (4.06Wh). Sodium-ion batteries have a wider voltage plateau, making it easier to determine the charge left, but they also have higher internal resistance which limits their power capabilities.

  • Why is the development of sodium-ion batteries considered promising for the future of battery technology?

    -Sodium-ion batteries are considered promising because sodium is a more abundant and cheaper resource compared to lithium. This could potentially lead to more affordable and environmentally friendly batteries in the future.

  • What are the safety advantages of sodium-ion batteries over lithium-ion batteries?

    -Sodium-ion batteries improve safety as they do not pose risks of fire or explosion, which is a known issue with lithium-ion batteries. This makes them a potentially safer alternative for energy storage.

  • How does the cycle life of sodium-ion batteries compare to lithium-ion batteries?

    -Sodium-ion batteries have a longer cycle life, maintaining 85% of their capacity after 1000 cycles, whereas lithium-ion batteries only maintain 60% after 250 cycles.

  • What challenges does the new sodium-ion battery technology face?

    -Challenges for sodium-ion batteries include lower energy density compared to lithium-ion, the need for new charging ICs due to different charging voltages, and the higher internal resistance which limits their power output.

  • How can a charger for sodium-ion batteries be built using an LM317 adjustable voltage regulator?

    -An LM317 adjustable voltage regulator can be used to build a crude constant voltage constant current charger for sodium-ion batteries by following the schematic in its datasheet and adjusting resistor values to achieve the required charging voltage and current.

  • What is the role of a Battery Management System (BMS) in a battery pack?

    -A Battery Management System (BMS) ensures the safety of each individual cell in a battery pack by protecting them from overcharging and over discharging, and it needs to be designed to work with the specific voltage levels of the battery type.

  • How does the internal resistance of sodium-ion batteries affect their performance?

    -The higher internal resistance of sodium-ion batteries, about 33% more than lithium-based batteries, means they produce more heat when current flows, limiting their input and output power capabilities.

  • What is the main disadvantage of sodium-ion batteries in terms of energy density?

    -Sodium-ion batteries have a lower energy density compared to lithium-ion batteries, barely rivaling lithium iron phosphate batteries, and are currently more expensive due to being a new technology not yet in mass production.

  • What is the significance of the charge/discharge curve in understanding battery performance?

    -The charge/discharge curve provides insights into a battery's performance by showing how its voltage and current change during charging and discharging, which can be indicative of its efficiency, power output, and overall battery health.

  • How does the availability of charging ICs affect the adoption of sodium-ion batteries?

    -The lack of dedicated charging ICs for sodium-ion batteries is a hurdle as they require different charging voltages than lithium-ion batteries. However, with the development of suitable charging solutions, this issue can be overcome.



🔋 Exploring Sodium-ion vs Lithium Batteries

The paragraph discusses the differences between lithium and sodium-based batteries. It highlights the scarcity and cost of lithium compared to the abundance and affordability of sodium, which is a key component of table salt. The speaker expresses excitement about testing real sodium-ion batteries purchased from AliExpress and sponsored by JLCPCB. The focus is on understanding the electrical characteristics of these batteries through charge/discharge curve analysis, which involves monitoring voltage and current during charging and discharging processes. The lithium battery's standard charge and discharge rates are detailed, and the resulting curves are compared to the sodium-ion battery's curves, which appear distinct and align with scientific reports on sodium-ion technology.


🔌 Comparing Battery Performance and Energy Density

This paragraph delves into the performance comparison between lithium and sodium batteries. It outlines the lithium battery's narrower voltage plateau and the sodium battery's wider one, affecting how easily the charge left in the battery can be determined. The paragraph also discusses the implications of constant power loads and the cost of designing power electronics to accommodate varying voltages. A significant difference is the energy output, with the lithium battery delivering more than double the energy of the sodium battery of the same size. The energy density of sodium-ion batteries is compared to other types, and the challenges of new technology, such as the lack of dedicated charging ICs and the need for a Battery Management System, are addressed. However, the potential for sodium-ion batteries to become more affordable and environmentally friendly in the future is highlighted.


🚫 Safety and Cycle Life of New Battery Technologies

The final paragraph focuses on the safety aspects and cycle life of sodium-ion batteries compared to lithium-ion ones. It contrasts the risks of fire and explosion associated with lithium-ion batteries with the safer profile of sodium-ion batteries, as suggested by the datasheet and anecdotal evidence. The speaker expresses a personal reluctance to test this safety claim directly. The cycle life of the batteries is also compared, with the sodium battery showing a significantly higher capacity retention after 1000 cycles. The paragraph concludes by contemplating the future of battery technology and suggesting that sodium-ion may eventually replace lithium iron phosphate batteries for their environmental benefits. The speaker encourages patience for the maturation of this new technology and invites viewers to support their ongoing projects through Patreon and other platforms.



💡Lithium Battery

A lithium battery is a type of rechargeable battery that is commonly used in portable electronic devices like laptops and power tools. It is known for its high energy density and relatively long lifespan. In the video, the lithium battery is compared with a sodium-ion battery, highlighting its higher energy capacity but also its higher cost and scarcity of the resource.

💡Sodium-ion Battery

A sodium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery that uses sodium instead of lithium as the primary electrochemically active element. It is considered a promising alternative to lithium-ion batteries due to the abundance and low cost of sodium. The video discusses the inner composition, performance, and safety aspects of sodium-ion batteries.

💡Energy Density

Energy density refers to the amount of energy stored in a battery for a given volume or weight. It is a critical factor in determining the efficiency and portability of battery-powered devices. The video compares the energy densities of lithium and sodium-ion batteries, noting that lithium batteries currently have a higher energy density.

💡Charge/Discharge Curve

A charge/discharge curve is a graphical representation of a battery's voltage and current over time during charging and discharging processes. It provides insights into the battery's performance characteristics, such as the rate of charge or discharge and the voltage plateau. In the video, the charge/discharge curves of lithium and sodium-ion batteries are compared to analyze their performance differences.

💡Internal Resistance

Internal resistance is the resistance to the flow of electric current within a battery. It affects the battery's efficiency, as higher resistance can lead to more heat generation and power loss. The video discusses the internal resistance of sodium-ion batteries and compares it to lithium-based batteries.


Safety in the context of batteries refers to their ability to operate without posing risks such as fire, explosion, or damage to the device they power. The video highlights the safety advantages of sodium-ion batteries over lithium-ion batteries, noting that sodium-ion batteries have not been reported to cause fires or explosions.

💡Cycle Life

Cycle life is the number of times a battery can be charged and discharged before its capacity significantly decreases or it reaches the end of its useful life. It is an important measure of battery longevity. The video compares the cycle life of sodium-ion and lithium batteries, emphasizing the superior longevity of sodium-ion batteries.

💡Battery Management System (BMS)

A Battery Management System (BMS) is a specialized electronic system that ensures the safe and efficient operation of battery packs by monitoring and controlling individual cells to prevent overcharging, over-discharging, and other potential issues. The video discusses the need for a BMS when using sodium-ion batteries in a series configuration.


AliExpress is an online retail service that allows individuals and businesses to purchase products directly from manufacturers and wholesalers. In the context of the video, the host mentions purchasing sodium-ion battery cells from AliExpress to test and compare with lithium-ion batteries.


Sodium is a chemical element that is abundant in the Earth's crust and is a key component of common table salt (sodium chloride). It is also the primary electrochemically active element in sodium-ion batteries. The video emphasizes the abundance and low cost of sodium as a potential advantage over lithium in battery technology.


YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users can upload, share, and view videos. In the context of the video, it is mentioned as a source where the host has seen discussions about the potential of sodium-ion batteries, indicating its role in disseminating information about new technologies.


Comparison of lithium and sodium-based batteries in terms of portable energy provision for devices like laptops and power tools.

Lithium is a scarce and expensive resource, while sodium is abundant and cheaper, with 40% sodium content in table salt (sodium chloride).

Sodium-ion batteries, also known as salt batteries, are touted as a potential future for battery technology due to their affordability and abundance.

The video aims to test the authenticity of sodium-ion batteries purchased from AliExpress and evaluate their performance against lithium-ion batteries.

Sodium-ion batteries have a wider voltage plateau (3.9V to 2.1V) compared to lithium batteries (4V to 3.4V), making it easier to determine the charge left in the battery.

Lithium batteries have a higher energy density and can deliver more than double the energy (8.7Wh) compared to sodium-ion batteries of the same size (4.06Wh).

Sodium-ion batteries have a lower internal resistance (33% higher) than lithium batteries, which can limit their input and output power capabilities but improve safety.

Sodium-ion batteries have a longer cycle life, maintaining 85% of their capacity after 1000 cycles, compared to lithium batteries which only maintain 60% after 250 cycles.

The video discusses the challenges of new technology, including the lack of dedicated charging ICs for sodium-ion batteries and the need for a Battery Management System (BMS).

A homemade constant voltage-constant current charger for sodium-ion batteries can be built using an LM317 adjustable voltage regulator.

Sodium-ion batteries are suggested to be a more environmentally friendly alternative to lithium-ion batteries, potentially replacing lithium iron phosphate batteries in the future.

The video provides a comprehensive test of sodium-ion batteries, including charge/discharge curves, energy density comparison, and safety aspects.

The author's excitement about finding sodium-ion cells for sale and the intention to test their authenticity and performance.

The discussion on the potential of sodium-ion batteries to revolutionize battery technology due to their cost-effectiveness and abundance.

The practical demonstration of how to set up and use a battery tester for examining the charge/discharge curves of both lithium and sodium-ion batteries.

The exploration of the safety advantages of sodium-ion batteries, which are less prone to fire and explosion compared to lithium-ion batteries.



Now these two batteries here look about the same, right?


But while they both can provide portable energy for your laptop, vacuum cleaner or for example


cordless power tool; their inner composition it totally different.


You see this one is made up of lithium and this one is made up of sodium.


And yes; this is very exciting because while lithium is a scarce resource that is also


quite pricey, sodium is not rare and thus also a lot cheaper.


I mean normal table salt aka sodium chloride is made up of around 40% sodium.


And for months now I have seen videos on YouTube talking about that such Salt batteries aka


Sodium-ion ones will be the future of battery technology; but no one actually tested a real


one yet.


So I was very excited to find these cells for sale on AliExpress and I know what you're


thinking; But no, they are not fake.


And in this video I will show you exactly why I think they are real and more importantly


do a bunch tests in order to ultimately tell you whether you should from now on, only use


these salt batteries instead of common lithium-ion ones.


Let's get started!


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Now first off when looking at these two batteries, there is obviously no way to tell whether


this one is really sodium based.


One possible way to find that out though is of course cutting it open and looking inside.


But because I tried the exact same thing in a previous video and had no idea what I was


looking at because I am not a chemist; we should probably instead focus on an electrical




One of them is called charge/discharge curve meaning we charge and discharge the battery


while monitoring its voltage and flowing current.


So let's do just that starting with the lithium battery by firstly adding tabs to its plus


and minus pole and then checking its datasheet to find out how it wants to get treated.


And it seems like its standard charge is 1.25A up to a voltage of 4.2V and for the discharge




can do a maximum of 20A down to 2.5V; but I wanted to keep it low and thus settled for


2.5A. With that in mind I set up my Battery Tester,


hooked up the battery, adjusted the current and voltage values in the software and began


with the charging process which after around 2 hours gave me this curve.


So next it was discharge curve time; which after around 1 hour looked like this and if


we put them side by side then we can see a very typical lithium based curve which not


only applies to such lithium-ion cells, but also LiPo ones and big Lithium Iron Phosphate




So next let's compare it to the supposedly sodium ion batteries for which I also hooked


one up to the battery tester and set its charging voltage and current to 4V and 1.3A just like


the datasheet recommends it and its discharge current to 2.6A down to this time 1.8V.


And after once again waiting for a few hours, I was greeted with these curves here which


without a doubt look quite a bit different than the lithium-ion ones and do correspond


with sodium-ion curves you can find in scientific reports which is enough prove for me.


But which curve is now better, you might ask?


Well, the main big difference is that the lithium battery comes with a narrower voltage


plateau where the battery spits out its energy which is around 4V to 3.4V.


The sodium one on the other hand has a wider one between 3.9V and around 2.1V


This has the advantage that you can more easily determine how much charge is left in your


battery, while lithium based ones often have to keep track of how much current goes in


and out of the battery to determine its State of Charge.


But then again when you got a load that needs a constant power, then its is definitely easier


to work with a more stable voltage because then the current also stays around the same.


With a more decreasing voltage though, the current has to constantly rise to get the


same output power and thus your power electronics have to be designed this way which can be


a bit more expensive.


So yeah, both curves have their pros and cons; but what is a definite disadvantage is that


while both batteries come with the same size, the sodium one can only deliver around 4.06Wh


of energy while the lithium one can do 8.7Wh which is more than double.


Of course when digging a bit online you can find sodium cells with slightly higher capacity,


but certainly not as high as lithium based batteries at the same size.


And that directly brings me to the energy density comparison for which I checked the


volume, weight and price of one sodium-ion cell and added those information to my battery


comparison chart.


And as you can see sodium-ion can only barely rival lithium iron phosphate when it comes


to energy density while being quite a bit more expensive.


But I bet that will soon change due to the low price of the material and is currently


only so high because it is a new technology that is not quite in mass production yet.


And speaking of new technology; there also do not exist dedicated charging ICs for sodium-Ion


batteries yet which are definitely mandatory though because of the different charging voltage.


But the good news is that with an ordinary LM317 adjustable voltage regulator, you can


pretty easily build up a crude constant voltage constant current charger according to the


schematic given in its datasheet.


With this resistor value we should get a maximum of 1.3A and with this resistor voltage divider


an output voltage of 4V which according to my tests was all pretty close and thus suitable


for my sodium-ion battery.


And if you want to put multiple cells in series in order to form a powerful battery pack,


then you also need a Battery Management System aka BMS to keep each individual cell safe


from overcharge and over discharge which now also needs to work with other voltage levels.


But thankfully there appears to already exist a commercial version.


So yeah, new technology obviously comes with some challenges; but for now let's switch


back to our raw cells here and the very important question how fast we can charge them up and


discharge them.


Now when looking in the datasheets then we can easily figure out that the max values


are way bigger for the lithium based battery.


To prove this, I powered up my new battery 


tester which can measure  the internal DC resistance


of a battery, by basically comparing how much its voltage drops when more and more current




After doing this test with both batteries you can see that the sodium one features a


33% higher internal resistance, meaning that due to its chemical structure it produces


more heat when more current flows.


That obviously limits its input and output power capabilities; but while that sounds


bad those values are still very close to those of lithium iron phosphate batteries and you


know, those get used as energy storages for houses and also in electric cars.


But while this chemistry does not allow for maximum power, it certainly improves the safety




I mean when looking up lithium-ion videos on YouTube, then there are plenty where fire


and explosions are involved including my own one from almost 10 years ago.


But when browsing through  the sodium-ion datasheet, 


then you can always read that no fire or explosion


took place which I know would definitely be interesting to test on my own.


But honestly speaking I was a bit too scared to do that.


So instead I recommend you to watch this video which summarized, ended with the cells flying


around but not creating an explosion or fire.


And last but not least we got the topic of cycle life meaning how often I can discharge


and charge up the battery before it is losing capacity.


And according to the datasheet the sodium battery does 1000 cycles while maintaining


85% of its capacity, while the lithium battery only comes with 60% after 250 cycles which


is a huge difference.


And with that being said, I think we discovered the most important advantages and disadvantages


when it comes to this new battery technology.


So do I think we should now all replace all of our lithium-ion batteries?


Well, definitely not because  I feel like sodium-ion 


is electrically more similar to lithium iron


phosphate and I hope to see it sooner or later become its replacement so that we finally


can have a more environmental friendly battery.


So time to play the waiting game; but while doing that, feel free to check out some of


my other videos or my Patreon in order to keep this show going.


As always don't forget to like, share, subscribe and hit the notification bell.


Stay creative and I will see you next time.