Eminent Indian scientist C N R Rao on Monday hoped that sodium batteries would emerge as an alternative to lithium batteries in view of the short supply of lithium.

"It can be sodium battery. Sodium battery will be a reality. Already, it is available. We have little problems in sodium battery. We have to make it as good as lithium. Magnesium, we can make it, but is again, short in supply," Rao told reporters hereafter delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) as part of its platinum jubilee celebrations.

Cobalt, which is useful, is also in short supply as it is available only in Congo, he said.

He expressed confidence that sodium battery would be a reality as efforts made in laboratories have been successful.

In the laboratories, many people have made sodium battery. You can make it...I am, somehow, confident we will make good sodium batteries in the laboratory, he said, when asked how far, is the realisation of alternative (to lithium).

Notably, a French startup Tiamat is designing, developing and manufacturing sodium-ion batteries cells, which are suitable for mobility applications and stationary storage. Tiamat claims that these sodium-ion batteries cells are 10 times faster than the other existing batteries.

[caption id="attachment_132683" align="aligncenter" width="470"] Tiamat Sodium ion battery cells [Credit: © Beaujot/RS2E, phys.org][/caption]IICT director S Chandrasekhar said the institute, which has been working on drug discovery programme for 10 ears, has a national molecular bank where about 60,000 new chemical entities (both synthetic and natural) are preserved.

"One of those compounds during screening was found to be a very powerful anti-sclerotic compound. We found that this compound has also multiple indications," he said. PTI SJR NVG

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