Toyota scientists make breakthrough on safer, smarter batteries

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Thanks to the advanced battery research by scientists at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), a breakthrough involving magnesium batteries may soon open the door for smaller, longer-lasting batteries for everything from cars to cell phones.

Until now, research on magnesium-based batteries was limited because a magnesium-friendly electrolyte did not exist.

Toyota principal scientist and chemical engineer Rana Mohtadi was researching hydrogen storage materials and their application to fuel cell technology, but upon hearing her fellow researchers discussing the challenges of developing an electrolyte for a practical magnesium battery, she realized her hydrogen storage material might just solve the longstanding problem – and with further experimentation and the help of fellow researchers, her theory proved correct.

“We were able to take a material that was only used in hydrogen storage and we made it practical and very competitive for magnesium battery chemistry,” said Mohtadi.

While the potential of a dramatically improved battery is exciting, it could take 20 years of R&D before magnesium batteries reach the consumer market.

May 12, 2016

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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