Nonaqueous magnesium electrochemistry and its application in secondary batteries

Doron Aurbach, Idit Weissman, Yosef Gofer, Elena Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Scopus citations


A revolution in modern electronics has led to the miniaturization and evolution of many portable devices, such as cellular telephones and laptop computers, since the 1980s. This has led to an increasing demand for new and compatible energy storage technologies. Furthermore, a growing awareness of pollution issues has provided a strong impetus for the science and technology community to develop alternatives with ever-higher energy densities, with the ultimate goal of being able to propel electric vehicles. Magnesium's thermodynamic properties make this metal a natural candidate for utilization as an anode in high-energy-density, rechargeable battery systems. We report herein on the results of extensive studies on magnesium anodes and magnesium insertion electrodes in nonaqueous electrolyte solutions. Novel, rechargeable nonaqueous magnesium battery systems were developed based on the research. This work had two major challenges: one was to develop electrolyte solutions with especially high anodic stability in which magnesium anodes can function at a high level of cycling efficiency; the other was to develop a cathode that can reversibly intercalate Mg ions in these electrolyte systems. The new magnesium batteries consist of Mg metal anodes, an electrolyte with a general structure of Mg(AlX3-nRnR′)2 (R′,R = alkyl groups, X = halide) in ethereal solutions (e.g., tetrahydrofuran, polyethers of the "glyme" family), and Chevrel phases of MgMo3S 4 stoichiometry as highly reversible cathodes. With their practical energy density expected to be >60 Wh/Kg, the battery systems can be cycled thousands of times with almost no capacity fading. The batteries are an environmentally friendly alternative to lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries and are composed of abundant, inexpensive, and nonpoisonous materials. The batteries are expected to provide superior results in large devices that require high-energy density, high cycle life, a high degree of safety, and low-cost components. Further developments in this field are in active progress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Record
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Electrolyte
  • Magnesium batteries
  • Magnesum intercalation


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