Related Topics: Awards & Honours, Science & Technology
- Three scientists have been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.
- The Prize includes 9-million kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.
The Nobel Winners
- John D. Goodenough
- Stanley Whittingham
- Akira Yoshino
Award Winning Discovery
- In the early 1970s, Whittingham used lithium’s enormous drive to release its outer electron when he developed the first functional lithium battery.
- Goodenough doubled the lithium battery’s potential, creating the right conditions for a vastly more powerful and useful battery.
- Yoshino succeeded in eliminating pure lithium from the battery, instead basing it wholly on lithium ions, which are safer than pure lithium.
- This made the battery workable in practice.
- The result was a lightweight, hardwearing battery that could be charged hundreds of times before its performance deteriorated.
- The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they are not based upon chemical reactions that break down the electrodes, but upon lithium ions flowing back and forth between the anode and cathode.
- Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized human lives since they first entered the market in 1991.
- Today, lithium batteries are used everywhere from mobile phones to electric vehicles.
- It is also used to store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society.