A new research promises to usurp lithium ion batteries with a new electrolyte solution
Lithium ion batteries have become the golden torch for advancements in latest technologies like electric vehicles. However, magnesium batteries are cost-effective to produce, thanks to widespread availability.
Earlier, it was well known that Magnesium batteries held twice the ion charge of Lithium batteries. Hence, they promised a much brighter future for technologies like electric vehicles. On the other hand, its classical intercalation between electrodes, remained sluggish at room temperatures.
This lead to a lower power performance and new research promises to change the complex status quo. The new research published in Nature Energy notes a new development which promises a new line of cathode, and electrolyte, which will operate at room temperatures, and provide a power equation similar to lithium ion batteries.
Earlier approaches to elevating the power structure of Magnesium batteries often increased temperatures, and storing magnesium cation in its complex forms. However, none were viable in practice for a wide range of reasons.
A Major Improvement in Capacity Retention
According to Yan Yao, the Cullen professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and co-author of the paper, “the ground-breaking results came from combining both an organic quinone cathode, and a new tailored boron cluster-based electrolyte solution.” His team demonstrated that the new cathode will not be hampered by ionic dissociation, and solid-state diffusion challenges. These challenges earlier plagued the power structure of magnesium batteries.
According to Rana Mohtadi, a leading scientist from the Toyota research institute said, “we tackled the challenge of high cycling rates by tweaking properties of the solvent which reduced its binding to magnesium, and improved the transport kinetics”.
According to the scientists, the new development promises a major new facet in understanding of the magnesium battery electrochemistry. According to them, the new battery set will be nearly two orders higher in magnitude as compared to its older counterpart. Moreover, the new battery will provide 200 cycles with around 82% capacity retension, displaying high retension.
Some experts believe that bringing in magnesium electrical batteries on-board will streamline operational for a quick transition to electrical future. Magnesium is not a rare metal unlike lithium ion. It is estimated that magnesium is 3000 times widely available in earth’s crust as compared to lithium ion. This makes magnesium a comparatively easy fuel for our energy hungry planet, at a relatively low cost. The low-cost will be key to transitioning into a cleaner electric future for vehicles, and home power distribution systems.