Is Magnesium Batteries An Alternative to Lithium?

  Magnesium is one such alternative that presents itself as cheaper and more abundant than lithium, and environmentally friendly – and one that is currently trending if the following recent research is anything to go by.

  Layered cathode materials are a popular choice across many battery systems, and one team at Nanjing University in China has developed nanoflowers of vanadium disulfide (VS2) as a possible layered cathode for use in rechargeable magnesium batteries. The interlayer distance of their final cathode material was almost 10 Ångstroms, nearly double the spacing in the control sample (5.73 Ångstroms). This expansion was achieved by choosing a solvent, 2-ethylhexylamine, that could also act as an intercalation agent during the synthesis process. The resulting expanded lattice allowed the diffusion of magnesium ions at a rate of 10−11–10−12 cm2 s-1, with the full battery system achieving a reversible discharge capacity of 245 mAh g−1 at 100 mA g−1.

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Battery recycling

Battery recycling is a recycling activity that aims to reduce the number of batteries being disposed as municipal solid waste. Batteries contain a number of heavy metals and toxic chemicals and disposing of them by the same process as regular trash has raised concerns over soil contamination and water pollution.

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Flexible Batteries for Bendable Devices

  This new type of battery is built in layers, just like conventional batteries. However, in this case, the researchers have exclusively used flexible components. It consists of the novel electrolyte and two current collectors for the anode and the cathode. The collectors are made from bendable polymer composite that contains electrically conductive carbon, which also serves as the outer shell.

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Researchers say energy-dense lithium-sulfur batteries may double EV range

Researchers say energy-dense lithium-sulfur batteries may double EV range

Researchers in Australia say that advancements made in cathode durability could make lithium-sulfur batteries a reality for electric vehicles soon.

The news was reported Friday by IEEE Spectrum following a paper published Monday by researchers at Monash University in Science Advances.


In both, researches say lithium-sulfur's lower weight and cheaper production costs would make those batteries attractive for transportation uses but up until now, lithium-sulfur batteries haven't been able to handle many charge-discharge cycles. That's because sulfur cathodes in those batteries swell with lithium ions during discharge cycles and contracts while charging, according to scientists. That leads to extreme cathode corrosion, which shortens the life-cycle for those batteries.

According to IEEE Spectrum, those cathodes fall apart in about 40 to 50 charge cycles.

The Monash University researchers say they've made a more robust cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries now, ones than can handle many more charge and discharge cycles, by increasing space for the cathodes by reducing the amount of binder used.

“This leaves increased space for accommodating the changes in the structure and the resultant stress,” mechanical and aerospace engineer Mahdokht Shaibani told IEEE Spectrum. “As a result, the sulfur electrode maintains its integrity over long-term cycling.”

The group's large pouch cells lasted for 100 cycles and the group says within two to four years they may have a battery viable for market uses.

Longer-lasting, higher-mileage batteries are one of the EV holy grails as automakers and suppliers race to create viable alternatives. Last year, researchers working with Tesla said they developed batteries in the lab that could withstand up to 6,000 charge cycles and last up to 1 million miles in vehicles, or up to two decades in power grids.



CEC excludes lithium-ion from grant funding in ‘expression of no-confidence’, says expert

January 16, 2020: A leading energy storage expert says California’s decision in December to exclude lithium-ion technology from applying for energy storage grant funding is an expression of no-confidence in the technology.

The expert — who spoke to BESB on condition of anonymity — said the number of lithium-ion units installed in the US was ‘negligible’, and utilities were realizing that the technology was far more problematic than they

had imagined.

“The lithium-ion units installed were mostly for demonstration purposes,” he said. “If the technology really did what was expected, you would see far more being installed.”


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