magnesium cell[mag′nē·zē·əm ¦sel]
a chemical current source with a magnesium anode. The cathode is primarily composed of silver, lead, or copper chlorides. Ordinary fresh water, seawater, or an aqueous saline solution is the electrolyte. The electromotive force of a magnesium cell ranges from 1.0 to 1.65 volts, and the specific energy is 73-120 watt-hr per kg (or 90-145 watt-hr per liter). The batteries used in a magnesium cell are manufactured and stored in dry form and are filled with electrolyte or immersed in water for several minutes before use. They are used primarily as standby current sources.