Lithium Batteries Developed: Battery Researchers Receive Chemistry Nobel Prize

              Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The batteries of chemists can be found in laptops or electric cars.
(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

              Three scientists from the USA, Great Britain and Japan are awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their development of lithium-ion batteries. Their batteries could store large amounts of wind and solar energy, making a world free of fossil fuels possible.
              This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Jena-born American John Goodenough, UK-born Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino from Japan. According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, they are awarded for the development of lithium-ion batteries. The lightweight, rechargeable and strong batteries are used in many products such as mobile phones, laptops and electric vehicles. They can store large amounts of solar and wind energy, making a world free of fossil fuels possible, it said. The most prestigious award for chemists is currently endowed with the equivalent of around 830,000 euros (9 million Swedish kroner). The awards ceremony is traditionally held on the 10th of December, the day of the death of the founder Alfred Nobel. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to 180 different researchers. One of them, the Briton Frederick Sanger, even received him twice. Among the winners were so far five women, such as Marie Curie in 1911, who discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium and only last year, the US enzyme researcher Frances Arnold. Born in 1922, Goodenough is the oldest Nobel laureate ever. In addition to the enzyme researcher Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter also received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry last year. Using evolution as a model, protein researchers had created opportunities for greener drug and biofuel production. On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Gregg Semenza (USA), William Kaelin (USA) and Peter Ratcliffe (United Kingdom). They had shown how cells perceive the oxygen content in their environment and react to changes. On Tuesday, half of the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. They had discovered the first exoplanet circling a sun-like star. The other half was given by the Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles for basic insights into the universe.On Thursday follows the announcement of this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. Two authors will be honored this year because the 2018 prize was not awarded following a scandal on the jury panel. The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be named on Friday.

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