What is a Magnesium-air Fuel Cell
Lithium-ion batteries may be all the rage, but they’re certainly not the only game in town. Magnesium-air fuel cell technology is something else that investors may want to keep an eye on.
While the technology is certainly at an earlier stage than it is for lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries, magnesium-air fuel cells have distinct advantages that are worth considering.
How it works
Essentially, magnesium-air fuel cell technology has the same components as any other battery technology. There’s a magnesium anode and a gas-diffusion (air) cathode, with salt water as the electrolyte. “Simplistically, it’s what is technically called an oxidation-reduction reaction,” Hilliard stated. “All we’re doing is using the oxidation-reduction reaction that occurs between the magnesium and the water.”
Hilliard further explained that the air cathode “is the current collector” for the system. “The air cathode is a membrane that breathes, and allows oxygen from the air to enter the cell to facilitate the oxidation-reduction reaction,” he said.
Certainly, magnesium-air fuel cells have a number of advantages. Hilliard noted that MagPower’s battery has a higher energy density than other systems, meaning more electricity for less weight. The battery also produces no toxic by-products, unlike its lead and lithium counterparts.
Hilliard added that there’s no self degradation for magnesium-air fuel cells, making them the perfect candidate for disaster-preparedness products. “It’s got an indefinite shelf life,” he said. “If you put a normal battery on a shelf in a flashlight and you come back to it two years later, the battery will have corroded, and the flashlight will not work. Our system can sit on the shelf for years, and if you take it down and pour salt water in it, it will turn on.”
Still, Hilliard admitted that there are some drawbacks for magnesium-air fuel cells compared to other types of batteries. While MagPower’s batteries have high energy density, lead-acid batteries have a higher power density.
“[That’s] why we use them to start our cars,” he explained. “Our battery works best in low-amperage environments. So it’s not good at moving things, but it’s very good at recharging systems, and it’s very good at lighting systems.”
Hunan SUS lighting Technology Co.,LTD
Address: 19floor, 5 block Yingpengling street, Value Mall, Changsha City,Hunan Province.China
Contact person: Ross Luo