Batteries are gaining more and more importance in all aspects of our world. They are used to power everything, from our smartphone to even our cars and planes.
However, even with all the development they’ve seen, current battery technologies are still quite limited in the amount of power they can store safety within.
This happens because Lithium-Ion, the current battery technology leader is not a safe option for high density batteries as lithium can easily combust when exposed to air.
Therefore, to make it safer for use, the ions have to be reduced and embedded into graphite rods. This makes the safe, but unfortunately also reduces the energy density of the battery itself.
Magnesium on the other hand is a more stable solution for this issue and can sustain more energy density. However, it too has it’s own problems, since it’s hard to form an electrolyte that would work with magnesium without degrading it over time.
Now, engineers at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) have found a solution to this problem, albeit by mistake.
This solution came to the researchers while they were researching materials for hydrogen storage. They realized that one of the materials they were looking at could easily work in an electrolyte solution for magnesium batteries.
Since this discovery, Toyota researchers have been working really hard to find a way to make this unlikely combination a reality. If they are able to use this yet unknown material for this universal purpose, it would definitely change the way we approach energy storage and consumption.