Japan’s Akira Yoshino among trio of scientists awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry
STOCKHOLM – Stanley Whittingham of the U.K., Japan’s Akira Yoshino and German-born John Goodenough were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.
Such batteries have “revolutionized our lives” since they first entered the market in 1991, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Wednesday. “They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind.”
“This lightweight, rechargeable and powerful battery is now used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles,” the academy said. “It can also store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society.”
Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The total amount for each of the 2019 prizes is 9 million kronor ($906,000).
“It also makes a fossil fuel-free world possible, as it is used for everything from powering electric cars to storing energy from renewable sources.”
Whittingham developed the first functional lithium battery in the early 1970s. Goodenough doubled the battery’s potential in the following decade and Yoshino eliminated pure lithium from the battery, making it much safer to use. This made the battery workable in practice.