BatteryA team of researchers from the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research is taking a potential major step toward developing energy dense, safe solid state magnesium-ion batteries.

This research marks another step in pursing batteries that utilize solid electrolytes, which could offer significant safety benefits over conventional lithium-ion batteries.

The work was developed out of efforts to create a magnesium battery with a liquid electrolyte. While magnesium has promising properties for energy storage, the researchers had trouble finding a viable liquid electrolyte for the technology that wouldn’t corrode.

“Magnesium is such a new technology, it doesn’t have any good liquid electrolytes,” said Gerbrand Ceder, co-author of the research and member of ECS. “We thought, why not leapfrog and make a solid state electrolyte?”

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In the field of batteries, lithium is king. But a recent development from scientists at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) may introduce a new competitor to the field.

The researchers have recently developed the first non-corrosive electrolyte for a rechargeable magnesium battery, which could open the door to better batteries for everything from cars to cell phones.

“When magnesium batteries become a reality, they’ll be much smaller than current lithium-ion,” says Rana Mohtadi, principal scientist and ECS patron member through TRINA. “They’ll also be cheaper and much safer.”

Magnesium has long been looked at as a possible alternative to lithium due to its high energy density. However, these batteries have not seen much attention in research and development due to the previously non-existent electrolyte. Now that the electrode has been developed, the researchers believe they will be able to demonstrate the value of this system.

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