The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to John B Goodenough, M Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino on Wednesday ‘for the development of lithium-ion batteries.’
“The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 rewards the development of the lithium-ion battery. This lightweight, rechargeable and powerful battery are now used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles,” an official statement by the Nobel committee read.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 9, 2019
Elaborating on the individual contributions of the three scientists, the official handle of the Nobel Prize tweeted, “Chemistry Laureate John Goodenough doubled the lithium battery’s potential, creating the right conditions for a vastly more powerful and useful battery.”
It also outlined that in 1970’s, it was Whittingham who had used lithium’s enormous drive to release its outer electron when he developed the first functional lithium battery.
Sharing details of Yoshino’s breakthrough, the committee stated that he had 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”, it tweeted.
Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionised our lives since they first entered the market in 1991. These batteries can store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society.
Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed for outstanding work in fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and the promotion of peace.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded, with one half to James Peebles for his theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology, and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for discovering an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.
The international award in the Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to William G Kaelin Jr, Peter J Ratcliffe and Gregg L Semenza for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.