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Lithium-ion battery pioneers awarded 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (Nobel)

Lithium-ion battery pioneers awarded 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Published: 09th October, 2019 at 12:21
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British-born scientist M Stanley Whittingham is among the winners who will share the £738,000 cash award.

Three scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their contributions to the development of lithium-ion batteries.


The prize went to John B Goodenough of the University of Texas; UK-born M Stanley Whittingham of the State University of New York at Binghamton; and Akira Yoshino of Asahi Kasei Corporation and Meijo University in Japan.

Goran Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said the prize was about “a rechargeable world”.

In a statement, the committee said lithium-ion batteries “have revolutionised our lives” — and the laureates “laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society”.

The Nobel committee said the lithium-ion battery has its roots in the oil crisis in the 1970s, when Mr Whittingham was working to develop methods aimed at leading to fossil fuel-free energy technologies.

The prizes come with a nine-million kronor (£738,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma that are conferred on 10 December — the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896 — in Stockholm and in Oslo, Norway.

Prize founder Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, decided the physics, chemistry, medicine and literature prizes should be awarded in Stockholm, and the peace prize in Oslo.

On Tuesday, Canadian-born James Peebles won the Physics Prize for his theoretical discoveries in cosmology together with Swiss scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, who were honoured for finding an exoplanet — a planet outside our solar system — that orbits a solar-type star.

Americans William G Kaelin Jr and Gregg L Semenza and Britain’s Peter J Ratcliffe won the Nobel Prize for advances in physiology or medicine on Monday.

They were cited for their discoveries of “how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”.


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Alexander McNamaraOnline Editor, BBC Science Focus

Alexander is the former Online Editor at BBC Science Focus.


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