Scientists have pioneered a method to enable the reversible chemistry of magnesium metal in the noncorrosive carbonate-based electrolytes and tested the concept in a prototype cell. The technology possesses potential advantages over lithium-ion batteries—notably, higher energy density, greater stability, and lower cost.
Magnesium (Mg) batteries theoretically contain almost twice as much energy per volume as lithium-ion batteries. But previous research encountered an obstacle: chemical reactions of the conventional carbonate electrolyte created a barrier on the surface of magnesium that prevented the battery from recharging. The magnesium ions could flow in a reverse direction through a highly corrosive liquid electrolyte, but that barred the possibility of a successful high-voltage magnesium battery.