Natron Energy begins commercial-scale production of sodium-ion batteries

Natron Energy begins commercial-scale production of sodium-ion batteries

Natron has invested over $40 million to upgrade the facility and convert existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing lines to sodium-ion battery production.

Natron Energy commenced commercial-scale operations at its sodium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Holland, MI. Natron said these batteries offer higher power density, higher cycles, a domestic U.S. supply chain and unique safety characteristics over other battery technologies. The company marked the occasion with an opening ceremony held at its facility in Holland, featuring remarks from Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks, Evelyn Wang, PhD, the director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and Natron executives, Founder and Co-CEO Colin Wessells, and Co-CEO Wendell Brooks.

“Sodium-ion batteries offer a unique alternative to lithium-ion, with higher power, faster recharge, longer life-cycle, and a completely safe and stable chemistry. As we now begin to scale production, Natron will strengthen the domestic battery supply chain and create high-quality clean energy jobs in Michigan,” Wessells said. “The electrification of our economy is dependent on the development and production of new, innovative energy storage solutions. We at Natron are proud to deliver such a battery without the use of conflict minerals or materials with questionable environmental impacts.”

Natron has invested over $40 million to upgrade the $300 million facility and convert existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing lines to sodium-ion battery production. Contributing to this investment, ARPA-E provided $19.8 million through the Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program. The Holland facility will accelerate Natron’s technology commercialization while supporting over 100 local jobs by the end of 2025 and strengthening the region’s rapidly growing clean energy manufacturing sector, Natron said.

At full capacity, Natron said the Holland facility is projected to produce 600 megawatts of sodium-ion batteries annually and will serve as a blueprint for future Natron giga-scale facilities. Natron will begin battery shipments in June with an initial focus on data center customers to address the energy storage needs and 24/7 power required to support the explosive growth of AI.

Natron said its patented Prussian blue electrodes store and transfer sodium ions faster, more often and with lower internal resistance than any other commercial battery on the market today. The company’s battery chemistry presents zero strain during charging and discharge, 10x faster cycling than traditional lithium-ion batteries and an over 50,000 cycle-life, it said.

Natron’s supply chain requires zero lithium, cobalt, nickel or other difficult-to-obtain minerals. Made from commodity materials including aluminum, iron, manganese, and sodium electrolyte, Natron’s cells, modules, and battery represent an environmentally and socially responsible alternative to lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, the company said.

The ARPA-E provided the first source of funding to Natron in 2012, followed by additional funding in 2020, and Natron said it has received investments from strategic customers, including Chevron and Nabors Industries.

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