Liu, Huiting

As lithium-ion batteries are facing the challenges of potential resource scarcity and insecure supply chain, sodium-ion battery is widely discussed as a promising alternative due to its low cost and use of abundant elements. Hard carbon, also called non-graphitizable carbon, is the most suitable anode for sodium-ion batteries so far. As the market of this emerging material has not been fully developed yet, it is important to identify the product life cycle stage in early development phases. In this work, we intend to evaluate the market maturity level of hard carbon materials by using approaches such as patent analysis, literature review and stakeholder interviews, with a specific emphasis on sustainable development. Literature research enables the identification of global research trends and provide knowledge of the technology itself. The results of stakeholder interview reveal existing global business relevant to hard carbon supply chain, for example in China, Japan, Europe, etc. A patent analysis model is applied to provide understanding of innovation processes, and based on this, to identify the stage of technological life cycle of hard carbon material. Within this framework, the sustainable development goals are taken into consideration, in order to exploit the opportunities and possibilities for sustainable hard carbon supply chain. As a result, this work is expected to offer information for decision-making in the development of hard carbon technology and thus support the early conceptual design of sustainable manufacturing systems.