2019 Chemistry Nobel Prize: John B Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino were awarded the prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
Stockholm, 09 Oct 2019: The Nobel Prize 2019 for Chemistry has been awarded to John B Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino for the developing the lithium-ion batteries.
The invention was a big breakthrough as today the lithium-ion batteries are used in everyday items from mobile phones to remote controls and even electric vehicles. On being awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Japanese Chemist Akirsa Yoshino said: "Curiosity was the main driving force for me."
The foundation of the lithium-ion batteries were laid by Stanley Whittingham in the 1970s, during the oil crisis. The British Chemist started "developing methods that could lead to fossil fuel-free energy technologies," the Nobel Academy said in a statement. He developed the first functional lithium battery.
American materials scientist John B Goodenough built on this and in the 1980 had a major breakthrough where he doubled the battery's potential. "After a systematic search, in 1980 he demonstrated that cobalt oxide with intercalated lithium ions can produce as much as four volts," the academy said.
The prize is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden. At 97, John B Goodenough is the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize. He will shared the nine million Swedish kronor (about $914,000) prize sum equally with Japanese Chemist Akira Yoshino and British Chemist Stanley Whittingham.
The three scientists, with their invention, "created the right conditions for a wireless and fossil fuel-free society," the jury said. "This lightweight, rechargeable and powerful battery ... can also store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society," it said.