Australian researchers develop magnesium-ion water battery


From pv magazine Australia

A team of researchers and industry collaborators, led by RMIT University in Melbourne, have developed recyclable “water batteries” to potentially mitigate safety concerns for large-scale grid energy.

Professor Tianyi Ma, School of Science lead researcher at RMIT University said their batteries are at the cutting edge of an emerging field of aqueous energy storage devices, with breakthroughs that significantly improve the technology’s performance and lifespan.

The team use water to replace organic electrolytes – which enable the flow of electric current between the positive and negative terminals – meaning their batteries aren’t combustible, unlike their lithium-ion counterparts.

Ma said the batteries were well suited for large-scale applications, making them ideal for grid storage and renewable energy integration – especially in terms of safety considerations.

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“As our technology advances, other kinds of smaller-scale energy storage applications such as powering people’s homes and entertainment devices could become a reality,” said the team.

The process of manufacturing the water batteries indicate that mass production is feasible, given that materials such as magnesium and zinc are abundant in nature.

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