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Technology 10 uses for the Nobel-prize winning lithium ion battery

18:55  09 october  2019
18:55  09 october  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Nobel season opens with Medicine Prize

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Our smartphones, tablets and laptops would probably be worthless without them.

Nobel Prize in medicine goes to scientists who uncover how our cells use oxygen

  Nobel Prize in medicine goes to scientists who uncover how our cells use oxygen The discovery could mean new treatments for diseases.The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute on Monday awarded the joint prize to William G. Kaelin, Jr. of Harvard University, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe of Oxford University and Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins University.

The lithium-ion battery is a technological breakthrough that helped its creators earn the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday.

"They created a rechargeable world," according to a statement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the presenters of the Nobel.

The prizes come with a $918,000 cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.

Since entering the market in 1991, lithium-ion batteries have "laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil-fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind," the Nobel committee said in a statement.

'A rechargeable world': Scientists win Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work on lithium-ion batteries

When were lithium-ion batteries created?

Stanley Whittingham, a distinguished professor of chemistry at Binghamton University, created the foundation of the lithium-ion battery in the 1970s during the oil crisis. Although that battery could hold up to 2 volts of energy (most modern batteries are 1.5 volts), it was too explosive to be viable, the Nobel committee said.

Pioneers of lithium-ion batteries win the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

  Pioneers of lithium-ion batteries win the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists credited with the invention of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. John B Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin, M Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University and Akira Yoshino of Meijo University will receive equal shares of the 9m Swedish kronor ($905,000) prize, which was announced today by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. RechargeableRechargeable lithium-ion batteries can be found in pretty much everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles, and can store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power.

In 1980, John B. Goodenough of the University of Texas-Austin, created a component better at handling lithium ions, or charged lithium atoms that have lost one of their three electrons.This led to more powerful batteries.

Five years later, Akira Yoshino of Asahi Kasei Corp. and Meijo University in Japan, created the first commercially viable lithium-ion battery.

How do they work?

According to the Department of Energy, a lithium-ion battery has an anode and a cathode,  or electric conductors we know as the "-" and "+" ends of a battery, that store lithium; an electrolyte and a separator that help in the distribution of lithium ions through the battery; and collectors for positive and negative electrical currents.

When a lithium-ion battery discharges, a flow of ions is created from the anode to the cathode, generating power. When you charge the battery, the flow reverses from the cathode to the anode.

Nobel Prize in chemistry winners developed lithium-ion batteries

  Nobel Prize in chemistry winners developed lithium-ion batteries The first lithium-based battery was developed by an oil company. Now these batteries threaten the existence of the entire oil industry.The lithium-ion battery story started during the oil crises of the 1970s, when companies like Exxon began investing in oil alternatives and new energy sources. Whittingham, a materials scientist, was hired to develop batteries.

A critical piece of modern technology

The development of the lithium-ion battery was revolutionary in the tech world, powering devices such as mobile phones and laptops. The batteries last much longer because users  can recharge them hundreds of times.

"The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they are not based upon chemical reactions that break down the electrodes, but upon lithium ions flowing back and forth between the anode and cathode," the committee said.

The batteries have been used to store energy for solar and wind power, which the committee said is critical to moving away from fossil fuels.

One of the big issues with lithium-ion batteries is their tendency to overheat, said the Clean Energy Institute based at the University of Washington. "Because of the risks associated with these batteries, a number of shipping companies refuse to perform bulk shipments of batteries by plane," the CEI said.

The batteries help power electric vehicles

Lithium-ion batteries have become crucial to the deployment of electric vehicles, ranging from the Tesla Model 3 to the Chevrolet Bolt to the Nissan Leaf.

Li-ion batteries: Science 'directly into your hand'

  Li-ion batteries: Science 'directly into your hand' They are omnipresent and essential to navigating modern life. Small, light, rechargeable: lithium ion batteries have revolutionised our world in less than three decades. On Wednesday, John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, the inventors of a technology taken for granted by most, got the most prestigious chemistry nod of all: a Nobel Prize. "They created a rechargeable world," stated the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the accolade.

Unlike hybrid cars, which typically use nickel-metal hydride batteries, electric cars use higher-performance lithium-ion batteries. Their high power-to-weight ratio, energy efficiency and temperature control are particularly useful for transportation purposes, according to the Department of Energy.

Although prices have come down significantly, electric vehicles remain more expensive than gasoline-powered cars because of the costs associated with lithium-ion batteries. International Trade Commission analysts projected that electric car costs would fall to the same level as conventional vehicles by 2025 or 2030, according to a report published in December.

In the long term, electric vehicles could graduate to other power storage technologies, such as solid-state batteries or lithium-air batteries, experts said.

Contributing: Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lithium-ion batteries: Why they're so valuable in high-tech world

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed wins 2019 Nobel Peace Prize .
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