Although the lithium-ion battery is just about 30 years old, it has “created the right conditions for a wireless and fossil fuel-free society, and so brought the greatest benefit to humankind,” according to the Nobel committee. For these reasons, the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to the creators of the lithium-ion battery.
The $909,000 prize will be split between three separate innovators in lithium-ion technology: John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino.
John Goodenough, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, pioneered the research on lithium to develop rechargeable batteries. At 97 years old, he is the oldest person to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
Stanley Whittingham, a chemistry professor at Binghamton University, and Akira Yoshino, a Japanese chemist at the Asahi Kasei Corporation, later improved upon the design to make the safe, fast-charging lithium-ion batteries we know today.
But hazmat shippers know the lithium-ion battery isn’t without its complications. Shippers who deal with the rapidly evolving, complex regulations for lithium battery transportation should get a Nobel Prize for Logistics!
About the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
in Stockholm, Sweden and has been awarded almost every year since 1901. There were only eight years when it was not awarded: 1916, 1917, 1919, 1924, 1933, 1940, 1941 and 1942.
Between unshared and shared Nobel Prizes, there are 180 Nobel Laureates in chemistry.
Why are awardees called Nobel Laureates? The word “Laureate” refers to the laurel wreath. In Ancient Greece, laurel wreaths were awarded to victors in athletic competitions and poetic meets.
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