NZPA researcher Dr. Shanghai Wei and the team at the University of Auckland are working on a very cool project on next-generation rechargeable batteries. 

Our current workhorse battery, the lithium-ion battery, isn’t suitable for next-generation battery applications like transport (electric cars and planes) and large-scale energy storage (the NZ power grid). Magnesium (Mg) rechargeable batteries show many advantages compared to lithium-ion batteries, including the high elemental abundance of Mg in the earth’s crust (Figure 1a), lower production costs, and higher levels of energy storage per unit volume (higher theoretical volumetric energy density; Figure 1b). Mg rechargeable batteries are still a new player on the battery scene and so to truly unlock their next-generation potential more fundamental research is required. The main challenge to overcome with Mg rechargeable batteries is the poor electrochemical performance of commercial magnesium anodes (the negative terminal of the battery). This Marsden Funded Fast-Start research project looks to overcome this challenge.

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If you are interested in following up with any of the content discussed here please contact the lead investigator, Dr Shanghai Wei, by email ( ).