Sodium-air battery is a promising energy storage system in the alkaline metal air battery family for the new generation of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). Researchers from the Nanomaterials and Energy Group at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, have reported on nitrogen-doped graphene nanosheet (N-GNSs) electrodes for sodium-air batteries, which yield a superior energy capacity. [Y. Li, et al., Chem. Commun. Doi: 10.1039/C3CC46606J]
The research team, led by Professor Xueliang (Andy) Sun, found that the N-GNSs electrode delivered a capacity of 8600 mAh g-1: two times greater than pristine GNSs. In addition, the doped GNSs also exhibited superior electrocatalytic activity towards the cathode reactions. They believe that the superior capacity is due to the unique morphology and structure of GNSs as well as the structurally defective sites resulted from nitrogen doping.

“Although the detailed mechanism for the oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions on N-GNSs are not yet clear, it has revealed that by doping other elements to GNSs, the battery performance can be significantly increased, which is very important for the future research and development of other carbon materials,” said Xueliang.

By Yongliang Li