A research group at the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) has developed an electrolyte which allows the construction of magnesium - sulfur battery cells. With magnesium, higher storage densities can be achieved than with lithium. In addition, magnesium is abundant in nature, is non-toxic and does not decompose in air.
The aim is to replace the lithium with other elements. Therefore, it is necessary to develop all components of the battery and to develop new understanding of electrochemical processes. So far, little progress has been made in this area, however. Above all, there was a lack of suitable electrolyte for magnesium, which can build batteries with high capacity and power density.
At the HIU, a research team headed by Maximilian Fichtner and Zhirong Zhao-Karger has now presented a promising new electrolyte, which might allow for the development of an entirely new generation of batteries. He has an unmatched electrochemical stability and a very high efficiency. Additionally, it is possible to use the electrolyte in various solvents and at high concentrations. The simple preparation of the electrolyte is another crucial advantage. The electrolyte is also chemically compatible with a sulfur cathode, which can be discharged at a voltage close to the theoretical value.
In many electrical devices today lithium -ion batteries , and metal-hydride batteries are used as energy storage device. Scientists around the world are currently researching alternatives to these established battery systems to make future devices safer, cheaper, more sustainable and more efficient.
Source and top image: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
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