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Sun Nov 21, 2021, 08:04 AM

Japan, the EU and U.S. race to replace the lithium-ion battery

TOKYO -- The limitations of lithium-ion batteries, which have been powering our portable gadgets for three decades now, are becoming clear, and the race to replace them is well underway.

Magnesium-ion technology might offer one alternative, and zinc-ion tech another. Estimated time of arrival? Sometime after 2030.

Cambridge University, engineering colleges in Denmark and Israel as well as German and Spanish research organizations have formed the European Magnesium Interactive Battery Community, dubbed E-Magic.

The consortium says its objective is to develop a disruptive scientific and technical approach for next-generation, high-energy-density and environmentally friendly rechargeable magnesium batteries.

With financial support from the European Union, it intends to pack 1,000 watts of energy density into a liter worth of a magnesium-ion battery. That is twice the punch of the old lithium-ion warhorse, first commercialized in 1991 by Sony.

Three decades ago, these miracles offered us much more storage capacity than the nickel-hydrogen and lead-acid batteries we had grown used to. They came to power our Walkmans and laptops, then our iPods and smartphones. They have even made their way into electric vehicles and jetliners. The researchers who made the key lithium-ion discoveries were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2019. The technology remains the top choice for storage batteries.

The main weakness is also still with us: The materials make for an expensive battery. Li-ion batteries are fine when it comes to powering our tablets, but as humanity moves more toward renewable energy sources, it needs a technology that can store much larger amounts of electricity.

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Reply Japan, the EU and U.S. race to replace the lithium-ion battery (Original post)
Klaralven Nov 21 OP
eppur_se_muova Nov 21 #1

Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Sun Nov 21, 2021, 10:07 AM

1. "Nickel-hydrogen" ?? Try Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH).

Not to be confused with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

One capitalization makes the difference.

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