Germany and the world
09.10.2019 12:34 Sat
Lithium-ion batteries can help mitigate climate change. For development, the fathers of technology receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
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Stockholm. Three researchers to develop particularly powerful batteries will receive this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. John Goodenough, Britain's Stanley Whittingham, and Japan's Akira Yoshino have played a decisive role in the development of lithium-ion batteries, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences reported in Stockholm on Wednesday. Lightweight, rechargeable, and powerful batteries are used in many everyday products, such as cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, and electric vehicles.
Goodenough, who was born in Jena in 1922, the son of American parents, is the oldest Nobel laureate at the age of 97. At first, he knew nothing about his prize. Unlike the other two winners, it could not be reached in the morning, said Göran Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
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Lithium-ion batteries could store large amounts of solar and wind energy, making the world without fossil fuels possible, the Royal Swedish Academy said. "Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives since being launched in 1991," the Academy writes. "They have laid the foundation for a fossil-free wireless society and are of great benefit to humanity."
The contributions of the three winners build on each other. Whittingham developed in the 1970s, the first functional lithium battery, which was still subject to explosion. In 1980, Goodenough developed much more powerful lithium-cobalt oxide (LCO) batteries. In 1985, Yoshino created the first commercially viable product. In 1991, the battery came to market.
The most prestigious award for chemists is currently endowed with a value of around € 830,000 (SEK 9 million). The awards ceremony is traditionally held on December 10, the day of the death of founder Alfred Nobel.
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to 180 different researchers. One of them, Briton Frederick Sanger, received him twice. Among the winners so far are five women, such as Marie Curie in 1911, who discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium, and just last year, US enzyme researcher Frances Arnold.
The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Gregg Semenza (USA), William Kaelin (USA) and Peter Ratcliffe (UK) on Monday. They have shown that cells perceive the oxygen content of their environment and respond to changes.
On Tuesday, half of the Nobel Prize in Physics went to Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor (77) and Didier Queloz (53). They discovered the first exoplanet orbiting a star like the sun. The second half was awarded to Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles, 84, for basic insights into space.
The announcement of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature follows Thursday. Two authors will be awarded this year because the 2018 award was not awarded following a jury scandal. The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced on Friday.
In addition to enzyme researcher Frances Arnold, last year he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry by George Smith (also USA) and Briton Gregory Winter. Using evolution as a model, protein researchers have created opportunities for greener production of pharmaceuticals and biofuels. (AP)