Interpretation of magnesium batteries in the post-lithium era

by:CTECHi     2021-07-23

The'E-Magic' research project will receive more than 6.7 million euros from the EU Vision Project Team. The goal of the project is to develop new batteries that are more powerful, cheaper and safer than lithium batteries. This project will lay the foundation for a more competitive battery production line in Europe.

For a long time, researchers have been looking for alternatives to lithium batteries. Today, the European Union has launched a new research project aimed at seeking breakthroughs in magnesium battery research.

'Magnesium is a promising material and one of the most important choices in the post-lithium battery era. Said Maximilian Fichtner, deputy director of HIU. The full name of HIU is Helmholtz Institute, a German research institution, co-founded by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Ulm University, dedicated to the research and development of electrochemical battery concepts. Partners include DLR (Deutsches Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt) and ZSW (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung) and other scientific research institutions.

The research project will receive a total of more than 7.6 million euros from the EU Horizon program. As one of the ten scientific research institutions participating in the project, KIT will receive a funding of 870,000 euros. DLR will also receive 750,000 euros. The overall collaborative organization of the project is led by the Spanish organization Fundación Cidetec, and the remaining cooperative organizations are from Israel, France, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

'E-Magic' is the abbreviation of European Magnesium Interactive Battery Community. The scientific research institutions participating in the project stated that they have integrated all the necessary steps required for the development of magnesium batteries, from basic research to battery production.

'In the research and development of magnesium batteries, we face a major challenge to extend the battery life as much as possible. Said Zhirong Zhao-Karger, the project leader of HIU. At the same time, scientists are considering using the positive properties of new anode materials to achieve this goal. For example, magnesium anodes do not produce dendritic crystals—electric chemical structures that accumulate between the anode and the cathode during battery charging and discharging can cause short circuits—and this situation often occurs in lithium batteries.

'This is why we use magnesium in the form of metal and can directly use the metal's relatively high storage capacity. In this way, the performance of the battery is improved. 'Zhao-Karger explained.

Another benefit of using magnesium technology for battery production is that it can reduce the use of lithium. HIU said that the reserves of magnesium on the earth are 3000 times more than lithium, and magnesium is easier to recycle. Therefore, magnesium batteries are likely to be more cost-effective than lithium batteries.

At the same time, this new technology may become an important opportunity for Europe to open a competitive battery production line and weaken the dominant market position occupied by Asian battery manufacturers.

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