The National Research Foundation of Korea announced on December 10 that Chungnam National University professor Song Seung-wan and his research team developed a novel negative electrode material that is capable of realizing a magnesium ion battery.
A magnesium ion battery is a secondary battery using a magnesium material instead of lithium. Magnesium is much cheaper and easier to come by than lithium. In theory, the energy density per unit volume of a magnesium ion battery is up to 170% of that of a lithium ion battery, and this is why the former is drawing much attention as a next-generation energy storage device. Still, its operation at a normal temperature is rather limited when a salt- and organic solvent-based electrolyte is used as in a lithium ion battery and it can be utilized only at a high temperature when certain solvents are used.
The research team produced a novel Mg2Sn alloy negative electrode material that is capable of overcoming the limitation in order to develop the magnesium-based secondary battery. According to the team, the new negative electrode material can ensure stability between electrolytes during charging and discharging unlike existing magnesium metal negative electrodes easily oxidized electrochemically.
Various magnesium ion batteries can be produced with the new material as it can be combined with various positive electrode materials. In addition, battery performance improvement can be achieved based on electrical conductivity, capacity, and output adjustment during negative electrode production.
“The new material marks the first case of a magnesium-tin negative electrode material applied to a magnesium ion battery operated at a normal temperature,” the professor explained, adding, “We hope that it will provide a new platform for next-generation secondary batteries beyond lithium.” Details of the research have been published in the November 15 edition of the Journal of Power Sources.