An inexpensive battery can be made from magnesium oxide, according to researchers.
A magnesium oxide electrode (image from Wikipedia)A magnesium oxide cathode (image, left) and an electrode with two carbon atoms (image right) are shown on a lithium ion battery.
The researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego, created an electrode made from sodium and magnesium oxide.
The magnesium oxide is bonded to a copper cathode.
The electrode was manufactured using the technique of super-ionization, which uses electron transfer from the cathode to the anode to produce an electric current.
Super-ionizing the magnesium oxide produces a super-potent electrode that is nearly twice as strong as a typical nickel-cadmium battery.
Super-ionized magnesium oxide electrodes have advantages in that they have high electrical conductivity, according the Stanford team.
Magnesium oxide electrodes are more energy dense than their nickel-based counterparts, and they do not need to be heated.
The electrodes are also easier to manufacture because they can be fabricated at lower cost.
“We can do it at home with a few tools and materials,” says the lead author, Xiaolin Zhao, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering.
The team also used a technique called ionization-catalyzed super-thermal expansion to increase the energy density of the magnesium electrode, making it 10 times as strong.
The findings were published in the Journal of Applied Physics.
The new electrode, which is a modified version of a magnesium oxide that is already in use in automotive batteries, can produce a charge of more than 10 megawatts of electricity, according Zhao.
The electrode has a capacity of 2.5 milliwatts, which would be enough to power a car for about five hours.
“It’s a big improvement over what you’ve got today,” Zhao says.
The battery is also less expensive than nickel-hydride batteries.
A lithium ion (left) and a magnesium alloy electrode are shown.
The nickel-carbide electrodes are shown with an anode and a cathode in the middle.
The lithium-ion battery has a battery cell with a magnesium core sandwiched between two carbon electrodes, with a gap between the two carbon-rich electrodes to allow the electrons to flow freely between the layers.
The lithium ion electrode can be used as a separator between the lithium metal and the carbon metal.
Magnesium oxide, a superhydrophobic material, is commonly used as an electrode in lithium ion batteries because it has high electrical and chemical conductivity.
Magnesium oxide, an oxide made from iron oxide, is used for the cathodes in lithium batteries.
The difference is that magnesium oxide contains two oxygen atoms and a hydrogen atom, while the iron oxide contains only one oxygen atom and a carbon atom.
The study, led by Zhao, showed that the nickel-metal alloy cathode of the electrode is electrically conductive and electrically stable.
A nickel-oxide cathode also has an electric field that is higher than a typical aluminum-oxide one, but it does not affect the electrical conductance of the nickel electrode.
The next step will be to make the electrodes from magnesium aluminum oxide, which has a lower electrical conductive rating.
“It’s not yet possible to do this,” Zhao notes.
The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.