CANON FUTURE BATTERIES - MOVE AWAY FROM LITHIUM?

bergstrom

Photographer
Feb 23, 2015
237
90
Just wondering are Canon or any other companies investing in battery research to move AWAY from Lithium on to possible safer alternatives like Sodium-ion?

 
  • Haha
Reactions: Michael Clark

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,954
1,794
Just wondering are Canon or any other companies investing in battery research to move AWAY from Lithium on to possible safer alternatives like Sodium-ion?

Lithium is a lot rarer than sodium (which is in table salt), and its best supplies appear to be in Bolivia and Afghanistan. If sodium is even remotely comparable I'd want to use it anywhere I could.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bergstrom

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,135
1,257
Germany
As far as I understand the SIB battery tech right and as far as I am sorted up well enough in materials science the big advantage of
SIB batteries is
+ better availability of raw materials and therefore
+ cheaper price

but the killer is
- more volume needed for same capacity

= good for big stationary energy storage banks (y)
= bad for small, compact mobile devices, e.g. cameras (n)

Edit: To add, that's what the article says:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200922102424.htm said:
... One of the most important application field for the developed sodium-ion battery prototypes is certainly stationary energy storage systems, where cost and cycle life represent two fundamental parameters ...
 
Last edited:

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,518
7,574
Just wondering are Canon or any other companies investing in battery research to move AWAY from Lithium on to possible safer alternatives like Sodium-ion?

I should take that with a pinch of salt.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,534
1,487
Just wondering are Canon or any other companies investing in battery research to move AWAY from Lithium on to possible safer alternatives like Sodium-ion?

Canon dos not manufacture battery cells, unless they plan to start making them, there would be no point spending millions on research. When I managed researchers, we did have research projects whereby we worked with the product manufacturers to test new technologies in our products and give feedback as to our needs. That kept us ready to implement a new technology. That type of project does not need a ton of cash, just a lot of boring reading and occasionally visiting a manufacturer. If you are lucky, a potentially useful product can be tested.

As noted in the article, the use would be for large land based installations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bergstrom

Nelu

1-DX Mark III, EOS R5, EOS R
CR Pro
Lithium is a lot rarer than sodium (which is in table salt), and its best supplies appear to be in Bolivia and Afghanistan. If sodium is even remotely comparable I'd want to use it anywhere I could.
I should put you in touch with my wife to have a chat about salt use because I can't get her agree with my culinary habits...:)
 

bergstrom

Photographer
Feb 23, 2015
237
90
I'm speaking from a safety point of view. Always something about batteries going on fire or exploding. Not sure if there have been any fire issues with DSLR batteries.
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,954
1,794
As far as I understand the SIB battery tech right and as far as I am sorted up well enough in materials science the big advantage of
SIB batteries is
+ better availability of raw materials and therefore
+ cheaper price

but the killer is
- more volume needed for same capacity

= good for big stationary energy storage banks (y)
= bad for small, compact mobile devices, e.g. cameras (n)

Edit: To add, that's what the article says:
How much more volume? Yes, I could see them being a bad idea where size is critical, like cameras and phones.

But how about electric cars?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,534
1,487
How much more volume? Yes, I could see them being a bad idea where size is critical, like cameras and phones.

But how about electric cars?
Its likely that the first use would be for homes which use solar or wind power. The weight or volume is not a deal breaker, its a price sensitive market. That will infuse lots of cash into R&D which might find a way to increase power density. The next logical step would be for cars, assuming the size can be reduced to close to li-on. However, R&D with Li-on is not standing still, there are new technologies and chemistries coming there. There is likely no interest in the cell phone market right now, no one wants a thicker phone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Normalnorm

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,954
1,794
Its likely that the first use would be for homes which use solar or wind power. The weight or volume is not a deal breaker, its a price sensitive market. That will infuse lots of cash into R&D which might find a way to increase power density. The next logical step would be for cars, assuming the size can be reduced to close to li-on. However, R&D with Li-on is not standing still, there are new technologies and chemistries coming there. There is likely no interest in the cell phone market right now, no one wants a thicker phone.
Actually, I hear lots of people say they'd happily take a thicker phone...if it had more battery capacity. Every time they make the phone more efficient the manufacturers reduce the size of the battery. Drives 'em nuts.

Of course that would not be the case here. I think you're spot on; the home solar/wind market is where these will go. Someone else posted info to the effect that the batteries would be more than twice as bulky; I think that kills them for cars, unfortunately. Because, not having to have their major component shipped around the world, they'd be "greener."
 

Normalnorm

EOS RP
Dec 25, 2012
688
313
I spend a lot of time on EV forums and battery tech is a dominant theme.
What I have seen over the past year is a LOT of announcements about "promising" research. This appears to be one of those articles.
Had we seen half the battery tech that had been announced, we would be awash in EVs that could travel 600 miles on a charge and cost less than conventional automobiles. Our phones would hold a charge for a month and smoke detectors would last a lifetime.
There is a lot of research going on at the moment but scaling lab projects to viable commercial enterprises is another thing altogether. We are seeing some good incremental jumps with existing Lithium centric technology but the mind blowing specs are not commercially available yet nor will they be for the foreseeable future.
As for the Lithium supply issue, it is not as important as the supply of Nickel and Cobalt. Both of which are used in larger volumes and come from places with unstable governments/policies. Manganese is also a potential supply issue.
Lithium is actually quite common all over the globe but the bulk of commercial deposits are in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. There are also efforts to extract Lithium from brine in geothermal hotspots that are in pilot projects.

SiBs are attractive because of a variety of reasons really just having to do with cost. But the Li-ion field is rapidly developing tech to reduce Cobalt, Nickel and Lithium. The real drivers being the EV and mass storage segments of the market.
Camera batteries and phone batteries will benefit also but I am not holding my breath as the LP-E6 volumes are microscopic compared to the number of batteries that are installed in phones.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Joules

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,799
632
Davidson, NC
When I was growing up, a mine northeast of my home town in Piedmont North Carolina provided most of the Western world's lithium, from the '50s into the '80s. Several companies are continuing to explore and do research on spodumene extraction in the area. It supposedly produces purer products for batteries than brine. A little farther north there is even a town named Hiddenite because of the gemstone form found there.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
3,263
1,939
I'm speaking from a safety point of view. Always something about batteries going on fire or exploding. Not sure if there have been any fire issues with DSLR batteries.
If you'd ever dropped a bit of sodium into a beaker of water during chemistry class, you wouldn't be asking this.

Sodium is very volatile and even reacts with moisture in air.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bergstrom

bergstrom

Photographer
Feb 23, 2015
237
90
I brought up the topic because IU was just curious about alternatives to lithium as there's always stories of batteries exploding, so just wonndering if camera companies were looking or investing in research for alternatives.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Michael Clark

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
3,263
1,939
I brought up the topic because IU was just curious about alternatives to lithium as there's always stories of batteries exploding, so just wonndering if camera companies were looking or investing in research for alternatives.
They're interested because sodium is more plentiful, found in more widespread areas, and cheaper. Thus the supply of it is also less subject to the volatilities of global politics.

There's no safety advantage to sodium ion technology versus lithium ion technology. They're both Group IA (Roman numeral one) alkali metals that are soft, shiny, low-melting, and highly reactive which tarnish when exposed to air.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bergstrom

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,954
1,794
They're interested because sodium is more plentiful, found in more widespread areas, and cheaper. Thus the supply of it is also less subject to the volatilities of global politics.

There's no safety advantage to sodium ion technology versus lithium ion technology. They're both Group IA (Roman numeral one) alkali metals that are soft, shiny, low-melting, and highly reactive which tarnish when exposed to air.
If anything, sodium is much more reactive. It and potassium tend to have the most violent reactions when dropped into water. Rubidium and cesium are technically even more reactive, but for reasons I am unclear on, don't give as much of a BANG! when dropped into water. In any case those latter two are much too rare to even THINK of using them ubiquitously in batteries, while sodium and potassium are quite common.