Hyderabad scientists develop rechargeable magnesium battery

A city-based premier institute today claimed to have developed a rechargeable magnesium metal battery an excellent substitute for highly toxic lead acid one --best applicable for UPS and inverter.

Hyderabad: A city-based premier institute today claimed to have developed a rechargeable magnesium metal battery an excellent substitute for highly toxic lead acid one --best applicable for UPS and inverter.

CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) - Indian Institute of Chemical Technology said the battery with natural graphite cathode is novel, safe and best applicable for stationary applications like UPS and inverter where weight is not the criteria.

"It is an excellent substitute to lead acid battery," CSIR-IICT said in a statement here.

"The rechargeable Magnesium battery developed by Dr J Vatsala Rani and her team in Fluoro-Organics division of CSIR-IICT has inherent advantages like eco-friendliness, cost effectiveness when compared to conventional lead acid battery."

According to CSIR-IICT, technology for rechargeable magnesium battery is not available for commercialisation till date in any part of the world.

The eco-friendly materials used in the battery are magnesium (anode), modified natural graphite (cathode) and ionic liquid electrolyte, which are safe and available abundantly, it said.

The Mg-ions from the anode diffuse into the graphite layers of the cathode during discharge and while charging they revert to the anode.

The ionic liquid used as electrolyte was prepared in-house and was found to be stable and non-corrosive at room temperature, the institute said.

"The capacity of the cell is 5mAh at a voltage of approximately 2.0V vs Mg. Studies are in progress to improve the capacity of the battery. The cycle life of the battery is established for 800 to 900 cycles. As of now, the shelf life of the battery is estimated to be 2-3 years. The electrode materials are reusable and also biodegradable," it said.

Ionic liquid used in an electrolyte is safe,nonflammable and non-corrosive compared to sulphuric acid used in lead acid battery.

"Our wish is that Indian industries and Government agencies should come forward in replacing the highly toxic lead acid battery with rechargeable magnesium battery," Dr Vatsala Rani said, adding, she and her team dream of lighting every household in the country, especially rural areas, with the green magnesium battery.

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