Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 for battery researchers

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The Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Congratulations from electronica!

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year goes to John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, as their work laid the groundwork for lithium-ion batteries.

Born in Jena in 1922, US-American Goodenough works at the University of Texas in Austin, and is the oldest ever Nobel laureate. Whittingham is British and conducts research in the U.S. at Binghamton University. Yoshino comes from Japan and works at Meijo University in Nagoya.

In the early 80s, engineer Akira Yoshino developed rechargeable batteries based on lithium cobalt oxide, a discovery by John B. Goodenough. 1983 saw the first prototype with a polyacetylene anode which would later be replaced by carbon compounds. The first commercially available batteries of this type were sold by Sony and A&T Battery in 1991.

The physicist John B. Goodenough discovered that anodes in rechargeable batteries could be made from lithium cobalt oxide, and that their cathodes could be made from lithium iron phosphate. In 2017, at age 94, he proposed a battery that was based on glass electrolytes (Our report) and used the far more convenient and environmentally friendly sodium instead of lithium.

Through his work on battery materials with a high capacity for energy storage, the chemist Whittingham made significant contributions to the development of lithium batteries.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded since 1901 and winners receive 9 million Swedish krona (€830,000).

 

 

 

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 (Image: Nobel Media).

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries”. (Image: Nobel Media).