Next generation batteries: Focusing on Calcium and Magnesium chemistries

2019 edition

Juan Forero-Saboya

Lithium-ion batteries have had a huge impact in our daily lives since their first commercialization by SONY in 1991. The high capacity storage, together with long cycling live and high efficiency allowed the development of diverse portable electronics like smartphones, tablets and laptops.Despite the steady increase in its energy capacity during the years, Li-ion technology is slowly but surely reaching its limits. Additionally, the rise on the lithium mineral prices and the concerns about future shortages pushes the research for different alternatives of high capacity energy devices to by applied in electric vehicles and grid storage.

Among the different next-generation batteries, the ones based on calcium and magnesium metals promise much higher capacity relying on ampler elements (5thand 8thmost abundant elements in the earth crust respectively). However, the double charge of the cations (Ca+2and Mg+2) hampers their migration in either solid or liquid state and, more importantly, in the interfaces between the different components. We have focused our research in understanding the mobility of such charges and its impact on the performance of calcium- and magnesium-batteries. We believe that gaining insight into this issue will catalyze the development of new materials for next-generation batteries, which will eventually promote the shift from combustion engine to electric vehicles.