Materials for sUstainable Sodium-Ion Capacitors (MUSIC)

Project description

Logo des Projekts MUSIC

Global demand for energy storage systems will strongly increase in the near future. The main driver for this development is the need for batteries or similar storage systems required for the ongoing energy and mobility transition. At the heart of the energy transition is the provision of energy from wind and solar power. However, the fluctuating energy supply from wind and solar power plants must be compensated by energy storage systems to ensure a stable energy grid. In this sector, lithium-based batteries (LIBs) are the technology with the greatest increase in storage capacity in recent years. The core of the mobility transition will be full or hybrid electric vehicles. Even conservative studies show a very high demand for LIBs in this application field.

Thus, the two sectors energy and mobility alone will generate a significant and strong increase in LIB demand in the future. As a result, there will be shortages in the supply of raw materials for LIBs, especially Co, Ni, Li, and Cu, which are classified as critical in the latest EC report on critical raw materials. Therefore, there is and will continue to be a high demand for alternative energy storage systems that do not rely on the aforementioned critical metals.

In the past, supercapacitors were not considered a promising alternative for batteries due to their low energy density and high cost. However, new technological developments of next-generation supercapacitors offer much higher energy density that could replace LIBs in some fields of application.

The new EU project “Materials for sUstainable Sodium-Ion Capacitors” (MUSIC) responds to the need for a new supercapacitor technology that reaches an energy density comparable to that of power batteries but does not require critical raw materials because sodium is used as a component. In addition, novel carbonaceous electrode materials, binders, and electrolytes are developed to ensure sustainability at the product level.

The technology development is accompanied by prospective life cycle sustainability assessment (LCA, LCC, social aspects) at the material, component, cell, and system levels. In this way, sustainable design is supported. Potential use cases are analyzed, and reuse and recycling are also addressed.

For the first time, a full LCA of a sodium supercapacitor will be performed.

The project is carried out in cooperation with HIU and the group “Electrochemistry of Materials and Interfaces” of Alberto Varzi.

Project website:


Dr.-Ing. Marcel Weil
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26718