Lithium-ion is undoubtedly the world-leading battery technology. However, the increasing demand for battery cells with higher performances has triggered the exploration of alternative battery chemistries. At ZSW, a primary objective is to unveil the potential of post-lithium battery cells based on monovalent and divalent cations, such as Sodium (Na), Magnesium (Mg) and Calcium (Ca). The development of post-lithium batteries represents both a long-term and high-risk challenge as well as a huge opportunity. Understanding and solving the fundamental issues of future generations of battery cells might enable increasing their battery life and energy with a better use of material resources, cost reduction and higher consumer/market acceptance of battery-powered products.
ZSW is a partner in several national projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as associate partner of the POLiS Cluster of Excellence (DFG) which brings together scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Ulm University and the University of Giessen. Within these projects, we are carrying out research on anode and cathode materials as well as on electrolytes for post-lithium batteries. In this context, and in collaboration with the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, we have presented in the year 2020 new nonnucleophilic aprotic organic electrolytes for Mg batteries. The electrolytes enable long-term stable reversibility with more than 2,000 cycles of Mg plating and stripping with comparable high coulombic efficiency (~99%) as well as oxidative stability (see fig.).