Sodium ion batteries (SIBs) have attracted lots of attention over last few years due to the abundance and wide availability of sodium resources, making SIBs the most cost-effective alternative to the currently used lithium ion batteries (LIBs). Many efforts are underway to find effective anodes for SIBs since the commercial anode for LIBs, graphite, has shown very limited capacity for SIBs. Among many different types of carbons, hard carbons—especially these derived from biomass—hold a great deal of promise for SIB technology thanks to their constantly improving performance and low cost. The main scope of this mini-review is to present current progress in preparation of negative electrodes from biomass including aspects related to precursor types used and their impact on the final carbon characteristics (structure, texture and composition). Another aspect discussed is how certain macro- and microstructure characteristics of the materials translate to their performance as anode for Na-ion batteries. In the last part, current understanding of factors governing sodium insertion into hard carbons is summarized, specifically those that could help solve existing performance bottlenecks such as irreversible capacity, initial low Coulombic efficiency and poor rate performance.
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