Pellion Technologies, a startup commercializing magnesium-ion battery technology (earlier post), announced an investment by Motorola Solutions. Because magnesium is divalent, it can displace double the charge per ion (i.e., Mg2+ rather than Li+). As an element, magnesium is much more abundant than lithium, and more stable. Magnesium-ion batteries theoretically could offer good electrochemical performance, while being safer and less expensive than Li-ion batteries.
Toyota, among others, has actively been exploring the development of Mg-ion batteries as a higher energy density solution for energy storage. (Earlier post.) However, Mg-ion batteries have suffered from a number of limitations, among them being anode/electrolyte incompatibility.
Pellion says that its next-generation technology enables novel, high-energy-density batteries delivering fully twice the energy of lithium-ion cells in a comparable weight and volume. Pellion’s batteries are now being tested in select demonstration devices in the mobile, wireless and robotics spaces.
Our public safety and commercial customers have to keep their workers out in the field where they are needed, and where they are increasingly reliant on mobile technology that has to be powered and ready to use at all time. While the promising battery technology developed by Pellion is still in the early stages of deployment, we believe it has exciting potential to substantially benefit our products and, ultimately, our customers.—Motorola Solutions Chief Technology Officer Paul Steinberg
Based in Cambridge, MA, Pellion was founded by a team of MIT researchers. In 2010, ARPA-E awarded the startup $3,204,080 to support the development of Mg-ion batteries for EVs.
US Patent Nº 8,951,680: “Rechargeable magnesium ion cell components and assembly ” (Assignee: Pellion, published 10 Feb 2015)
Robert E. Doe, Ruoban Han, Jaehee Hwang, Andrew J. Gmitter, Ivgeni Shterenberg, Hyun Deog Yoo, Nir Pour and Doron Aurbach (2014) “Novel, electrolyte solutions comprising fully inorganic salts with high anodic stability for rechargeable magnesium batteries” Chem. Commun., 50, 243-245 doi: 10.1039/C3CC47896C