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Issue 4, 2015
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Pyrite FeS2 for high-rate and long-life rechargeable sodium batteries

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It is desirable to develop electrode materials for advanced rechargeable batteries with low cost, long life, and high-rate capability. Pyrite FeS2, as an easily obtained natural mineral, has been already commercialized in primary lithium batteries, but encountered problems in rechargeable batteries with carbonate-based electrolytes due to the limited cycle life caused by the conversion-type reaction (FeS2 + 4M → Fe + 2M2S (M = Li or Na)). Herein, we demonstrate that FeS2 microspheres can be applied in room-temperature rechargeable sodium batteries with only the intercalation reaction by simultaneously selecting a compatible NaSO3CF3/diglyme electrolyte and tuning the cut-off voltage to 0.8 V. A surprisingly high-rate capability (170 mA h g−1 at 20 A g−1) and unprecedented long-term cyclability (∼90% capacity retention for 20 000 cycles) has been obtained. We suggest that a stable electrically conductive layer-structured NaxFeS2 was formed during cycling, which enables the highly reversible sodium intercalation and deintercalation. Moreover, 18650-type sodium batteries were constructed exhibiting a high capacity of ∼4200 mA h (corresponding to 126 W h kg−1 and 382 W h L−1) and a capacity retention of 97% after an initial 200 cycles at 4 A during charge–discharge. This shows that the production of rechargeable sodium batteries with FeS2 microspheres is viable for commercial utilization.

Graphical abstract: Pyrite FeS2 for high-rate and long-life rechargeable sodium batteries

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The article was received on 28 Nov 2014, accepted on 26 Jan 2015 and first published on 27 Jan 2015

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03759F
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Energy Environ. Sci., 2015,8, 1309-1316

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    Pyrite FeS2 for high-rate and long-life rechargeable sodium batteries

    Z. Hu, Z. Zhu, F. Cheng, K. Zhang, J. Wang, C. Chen and J. Chen, Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, 8, 1309
    DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03759F

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