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Towards a calcium-based rechargeable battery

bat calc

A. Ponrouch, C. FronteraF. BardéM. R. Palacín

    • Nature Materials


The development of a rechargeable battery technology using light electropositive metal anodes would result in a breakthrough in energy density. For multivalent charge carriers (Mn+), the number of ions that must react to achieve a certain electrochemical capacity is diminished by two (n = 2) or three (n = 3) when compared with Li+. Whereas proof of concept has been achieved for magnesium, the electrodeposition of calcium has so far been thought to be impossible6 and research has been restricted to non-rechargeable systems. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of calcium plating at moderate temperatures using conventional organic electrolytes, such as those used for the Li-ion technology. The reversibility of the process on cycling has been ascertained and thus the results presented here constitute the first step towards the development of a new rechargeable battery technology using calcium anodes.


Viability of calcium rechargeable batteries demonstrated.

-Calcium can be used as electrode in rechargeable batteries according to a study from Spanish CSIC in collaboration with Toyota.

-This work proves that oxidation-reduction of calcium occurs in a reversible way in electrolytes that can operate at high potential.

Calcium, a much more abundant and cheaper element than lithium, can act as negative electrode in rechargeable batteries. This is shown in a study elaborated by researchers of Spanish Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas –CSIC) at the Institut de CIència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB) in collaboration with Toyota Europe, and with the help of Alba synchrotron.  This research, which has been published in Nature Materials, opens the door to future technological applications of calcium in the development of batteries.

“This study proves that calcium can be used as negative electrode in rechargeable batteries of high energy density” explains Dr. M. Rosa Palacín from ICMAB, who has directed the research. “Up to now, it was believed that metal calcium electrodes were not viable for rechargeable batteries. Our observations show that they truly are and that they are compatible with electrolytes commonly used in lithium ion technology”.

Dr. Palacín signals: “These results are the basis of two filed patents. From now we will direct our efforts to the development of materials for the positive electrode able to operate at a high potential to achieve high energy density batteries”.

IMAGE: Scheme of the calcium battery and electron microscopy image of the developed electrodes

A. Ponrouch, C. Frontera, F. Bardé and M. R. Palacín. Towards a calcium-based rechargeable battery. DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4462


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