Charged

Lithium-ion Battery inventors snag Nobel Prizes for enabling the mobile revolution

Thursday, October 10, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_"This Lithium-ion battery is legit"_

"This Lithium-ion battery is legit"

Our hypothesis: These 3 are why you have a smartphone... The Results: Confirmed. John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino were just awarded some Swedish kroner (almost $1M worth total) and the Nobel Prize in chemistry. They invented the Lithium-ion Battery — in the 1980s — and it's still used today. We'll let The Academy explain:

“They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind."

Unplug... The Li-ion battery allowed electronic things to be portable — it was way lighter, more durable, and held greater energy than earlier battery options that were the size of your foot. It was also less likely to ignite and explode, which is a major plus. This single battery powers whatever you're reading this on, along with all the following:

  • Wireless tech: iPhone, Amazon Ring cameras, laptop computers. Anything with a battery icon and a charging cord probably uses them.
  • Electric cars: Without the Lithium-ion battery relaxing in the chassis, a Tesla's range would only extend as far as your longest extension cord.
  • Renewable energy: The wind and sun generate electricity, but we need batteries to store it for when they're MIA.
THE TAKEAWAY

Who made money?... Goodenough and his university decided not to patent Lithium-ion tech. Mr. Yoshino commercialized it at Sony in 1991, where it made Walkman and video camcorders a thing. Sony's batteries also powered the 1st gen of laptop computers. But no one company controls the tech, so the batteries are all up in our lives today, keeping us glued constantly to devices.