Nobel chemistry prize - Lithium-ion battery scientists honoured

Gordon_R

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Three scientists have been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

John B Goodenough, M Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino share the prize for their work on these rechargeable devices, which are used for portable electronics.

At the age of 97, Prof Goodenough is the oldest ever Nobel laureate.

Olof Ramström, from the Nobel Committee, said lithium-ion batteries had "enabled the mobile world".

The trio will share the prize money of nine million kronor (£738,000).

The foundation of the lithium-ion battery was laid during the oil crisis of the 1970s. M Stanley Whittingham, 77, who was born in the UK, worked to develop energy technologies that did not rely on fossil fuels.

He discovered an energy-rich material called titanium disulphide, which he used to make a cathode - the positive terminal - in a lithium battery.

Whittingham, who is based at Binghampton University in Vestal, US, made the anode, the battery's negative terminal, from metallic lithium - which has a strong preference for releasing electrons.

John B Goodenough, who is American but was born in Germany, predicted that the cathode could be improved if it was made from a metal oxide, rather than a sulphide.

In 1980, after searching for the ideal material, Goodenough, who is a professor at the University of Texas, Austin, used cobalt oxide to boost the lithium battery's potential to four volts.

With Goodenough's cathode as a basis, Akira Yoshino, 71, created the first commercially-viable lithium-ion battery in 1985.

Yoshino, who was born in Osaka, Japan, works for the Asahi Kasei Corporation and Meijo University in Nagoya.
 

Gordon_R

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Periodic Videos - The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - Lithium Ion Batteries:

 
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