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Fri, 18.04.2003
pte20030418028 Science/Technology, Environment/Energy
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Prototype for magnesium battery
Environmentally friendlier, lighter and cheaper

Ramat-Gan/Israel (pte028/18.04.2003/15:25) - Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in RamatGan/Israel have come up with a prototype for a rechargeable magnesium battery. The magnesium battery will prove lighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. The team has developed the first useable prototype of the magnesium battery, for which research has been ongoing since the early 1980s.

The prototype generates tension between 0.9 to 1.2 volts and can thus be compared to a nickel cadmium battery. According to the science magazine Nature the battery can be loaded and reloaded several times without losing full performance capacity. The magnesium works as an anode in the process.

The researchers used a magnesium alloy with 3 per cent aluminium and one per cent zinc. As a cathode molybdenumsulphide (Mo6S8) was used.

In the future the magnesium battery will be able to replace lithium, lead and cadmium batteries. Although lithium batteries are smaller, they are more expensive. Lead and cadmium can be recharged, but are heavy and awkward.

Magnesium, which is the sixth element that makes up the earth's crust, is the ideal substance for the making of environmentally-friendly batteries.

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