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Magnesium is a metal that is consumed in large quantities in dietary fruits, vegetables and grains as well as in various supplementary foods. Magnesium is an essential cofactor in more than three hundred enzymes that help regulate many biochemical reactions in our bodies. This mineral is also found in many types of rocks.

Lithium (Li) and its diagonal neighbor magnesium (Mg) are examples of a pair of elements that show a special relationship called a diagonal relationship in the periodic table. This is a result of the fact that they belong to the first and second period respectively, but differ in some important properties. Other pairs that show a diagonal relationship include Boron and Silicon, Beryllium and Aluminum and Nickel and Iron.

Both Li and Mg have a higher polarising power than the other alkali metals in their groups. Moreover, the size of their ions is similar. In addition, both of them are harder and lighter than the other alkali metals in the same group. They are also less reactive in water. Their hydroxides are weak bases and decompose on heating. They form nitrides by reacting with nitrogen and they do not produce solid carbonates.

In order to develop rechargeable magnesium batteries, it is crucial to find a cathode that reduces polarisation, speeds up ion diffusion kinetics and prevents passivation film formation. It is also necessary to design an electrolyte that achieves reversible magnesium ion transport. One strategy is to replace the magnesium ion in the Mg-MnO2 system by calcium or cobalt ions. However, these replacements are usually not feasible in organic host materials.

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