Posts Tagged hybrid batteries

Magnesium Ion Batteries

Posted by on Thursday, 13 May, 2010

The federal government funds battery research technology through Arpa-E grants. Project selections include the development of magnesium ion batteries by the company Pellion Technologies, according to Arpa-E. This type of battery is a new technology that potentially creates much more cost effective batteries for hybrid cars and other vehicles. Cost limitations of battery systems are one of the main factors holding back renewable energy generation.

The Arpa-E grants provide several million dollars in research funding for each project, including matching funds that the grantee company invests in developing new technologies. According to Representative Anna Eshoo, the federal government is awarding $3,204,080 to Pellion Technologies to create the magnesium ion batteries. This investment may provide much higher payoffs, depending on the cost savings from switching to this type of battery. In addition, since a California company controls this patent, the company may receive additional income from licensing magnesium ion technology to companies in other countries such as Germany and France, providing additional tax revenues to the California and federal government.

This is a joint project between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bar Ilan University. The chemist Dr. Doron Aurbach publishes articles in the field of magnesium ion technology, including common flaws in the technology and methods to improve it. Magnesium provides the cathode for the battery, and as a relatively common metal it is cheaper and easier to obtain than the rare earth metals that are requirements of other technologies. In addition, magnesium is found in many locations, so supply restrictions from hostile nations are not a major concern. Magnesium is also an important dietary mineral, according to the National Institutes of Health.