• 6 hours Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 10 hours Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 12 hours Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 14 hours $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 15 hours Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 17 hours Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 19 hours Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 1 day Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 1 day Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 1 day Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 2 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 2 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 2 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 2 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 2 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 2 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 2 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 3 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 3 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 3 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 3 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 3 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 4 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 4 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 4 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 4 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 4 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 4 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 4 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 4 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 4 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 5 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 5 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects
  • 5 days Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’
  • 5 days BP CEO Sees Venezuela As Oil’s Wildcard
  • 5 days Iran Denies Involvement In Bahrain Oil Pipeline Blast
  • 7 days The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea
  • 7 days Baghdad Agrees To Ship Kirkuk Oil To Iran
  • 8 days Another Group Joins Niger Delta Avengers’ Ceasefire Boycott
  • 8 days Italy Looks To Phase Out Coal-Fired Electricity By 2025
New Battery Design Could Crush Tesla

New Battery Design Could Crush Tesla

Elon Musk’s old rival, Henrik…

Magnesium-Ion Batteries Could Be The Future Of Energy Storage

Magnesium-Ion Batteries Could Be The Future Of Energy Storage

Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous today, but our future, especially our automotive future, will need a different battery, one that has greater energy density, lower cost and is less prone to overheating.

In the worldwide scramble to find an alternative to the lithium-ion battery, one group of researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has focused on magnesium.

The Berkeley Labs scientists believe magnesium is promising alternative because it’s based on what’s known as a “multivalent ion.” Lithium-ion (Li-ion) has a charge of +1, meaning it has only a single electron for an electrical current. Magnesium-ion (Mg-ion) has a charge of +2.

Related: Has Battery Technology Just Taken A Huge Leap Forward?

In theory, at least, that means Mg-ions can provide twice as much electrical current as Li-ions when used in the same density. The use of Mg-ion batteries also would be less expensive and safer than Li-ion batteries because magnesium is more plentiful than lithium and is less prone to overheating.

Still, the Mg-ion batteries, with their multivalent ions, have drawbacks that so far have stalled their development. The key term here, though, is “so far.” Scientists at a Berkeley Lab research center have run computer simulations that have clarified science’s understanding about the Mg-ions in the electrolyte that conducts the ions between the electrodes of the battery.

Their research was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

According to one of the scientists involved in the research, David Prendergast, it was believed that an increased charge causes Mg-ions to be surrounded by oppositely charged ions and other matter that can slow their conductivity and reduce a battery’s efficiency. “However,” Prendergast tells the Berkeley Lab’s News Center, we found the problem may be less dire than is widely believed.”

What is widely believed is that a Mg-ion would be surrounded by a cluster of its six nearest neighbors including the oppositely charged ions, or “counter ions,” or by solvent molecules. This cluster of matter around the Mg-ion, called a “coordination sphere,” would make the Mg-ion too bulky to be conducted efficiently.

Related: Why The Debate Over Energy Storage Utterly Misses The Point

But Prendergast and a colleague, Liwen Wan, ran simulations of Mg-ion conductivity on two supercomputers and found that only four neighboring particles cluster around the Mg-ion. Prendergast says this makes conductivity more efficient because the coordination sphere is one-third smaller.

“Our findings also suggest that the performance bottlenecks experienced with Mg-ion batteries to date may not be so much related to the electrolyte itself, but to what happens at the interface between the electrolyte and electrodes as the Mg-ions shed their coordination spheres.”

Now that Prendergast and Wan have cleared away the underbrush, the next step is to move beyond computer simulations to real-world testing. If that holds up, cars powered by powerful, safe and inexpensive Mg-ion batteries can’t be far behind.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News