Lithium-ion battery inventors got the Nobel Prize

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2019-‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ goes to the Lithium-ion battery inventors

Nobel Prize Chemistry-2019 (Image Credit:
Left to Right- John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham & Akira Yoshino

The laureates are-

  • John B Goodenough, 97 year old, Born in Jena, Germany, 1922.

(The University of Texas at Austin, USA)

  • M Stanley Whittingham, 77 year old, Born in Nottingham, UK, 1941.

(Binghamton University, State University of New York, USA

  • Akira Yoshino, 71 year old, Born in Osaka, Japan, 1948.

(Asahi Kasei Corporation, Tokyo, Japan. Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan)

Now a day the names are being announced for the 2019 Nobel prize winners. On 09th October, names announced for the Nobel prize in chemistry and the lithium-ion battery inventors got world reorganization once again through the Nobel prize. On 10th December Nobel prize will be given to all three scientists who invented the lithium-ion battery and prize amount of nine million kronor (£738,000) will be distributed among them.

In 1991,Sony was the 1st brandto bring commercial lithium-ionbatteries in market and that wasbased on Akira Yoshino’sbattery configuration.

Lithium is discovered in 1817

A simplified diagram of a Li-ion battery and function

The story of Li-ion battery discovery:

World needed an alternative source of energy and its storage during the oil crisis of the 1970S.
Initially Mr. Stanley Whittingham worked on super conductors and discovered an extremely energy-rich material. He used that material to make the cathode in lithium battery. That material of cathode was made from titanium disulphide and at molecular level it has spaces that can provide that spaces to lithium ions. This battery’s anode was made partially with metallic lithium and the lithium had great potential in a li-ion battery but the metallic lithium is reactive in nature which was not good for the battery safe operation. The battery which Stanley made had literally great potential which was just over 2 volts.


Further to that – John Goodenough with his own experience made that titanium disulphide cathode from the metal oxide instead of a metal sulphide. After many trials in 1980, he came up with the idea to make cathode from the cobalt oxide which intercalated lithium ions and produced as much as 4 volts. This innovation made the Li-ion battery more powerful.


Now further to the innovation of John Goodenough, Akira Yoshino created the first commercially useable Li-ion battery in 1985. In place of using reactive lithium in the anode, Yoshino used a petroleum coke (a carbon material), same as cathode’s cobalt oxide used by John Goodenough.
The outcome was a lightweight and very efficient battery. These batteries were working on the principle of ions back and forth motion between the anode and cathode.


In 1991, Sony was the 1st brand to bring commercial lithium-ion batteries in market and that was based on Akira Yoshino’s battery configuration.

Lithium-ion Revolution

Li-ion battery operated devices are now became the part of our daily life since it first came in market in 1991. Like our Mobile devices, Health monitoring devices, pacemaker, watches, electric bikes, electric toys, electric car, drones and many more. Lithium-ion batteries are now best suited for energy storage which generated from the renewable energy sources like wind or sun.  Lithium-ion battery working is not based on the chemical reaction that breaks down the electrodes, but it works on the principle of li-ions flowing back and forth during charging and discharging between the anode and cathode. It has also light weight as compared with the lead-acid battey and this is the reason lithium-ion battery is used almost in every sector now.

What is Nobel Prize and to whom it is given:

Alfred Nobel

Nobel prize founder is  Alfred Nobel who was born on October 21, 1833 in Stockholm. He grew up in Russia, studied chemistry and technology in France and the US. Alfred Nobel became a successful businessman, chemist, engineer, inventor and philanthropist. He also own 356 different patents among them the patents of dynamite and gelignite are most famous. Nobel prize is the most prestigious award in the world which is given in the memory of Alfred Nobel.  The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Sveriges Riksbank prize in Economic Sciences. The Nobel prize ceremony take place every year in Stockholm except the Nobel peace prize ceremony. Nobel peace prize ceremony helds in Oslo, Norway. Each recipient is awarded with  a gold medal, a certificate and a sum of money (amount of money as per 2017 is 9,000,000 SEK). Read more about the lithium-ion advance flexible batteries technology- Jenax Flexible Li-ion Battery——–