Akira Yoshino, one of three winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, smiles during a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday night. Photo: AP/Koji Sasahara
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Nobel laureate Yoshino craves more research discoveries

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daito_hak. I am sorry but I don’t think that Yoshino deserves the Nobel.

You need to go to the Wikipedia and read carefully about these three the winner of the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2019. Without Akira Yoshino research, discovery and invention, there has yet to be mass production of safe and powerful today lithium-ion battery.

Professor John B. Goodenough was 97 years old and he won't be able to make improvement in his Lithium Battery which was doubling Whittingham’s two-volt capacity to four volts. Yoshino-san has finished Goodenough and Whittingham work with his own discovery. Then, he invented safe and powerful the lithium-ion battery. They all deserved to Nobel Prize.

"Indeed, it was in the 1970s that Whittingham began investigating the use of lithium, the smallest and lightest metal in the periodic table of the elements. That size and weight made it possible to pack a lot of lithium into a small space, unlike the large and heavy lead-acid batteries that dominated at the time. Lithium had another advantage: it easily gave up its electrons, and batteries produce electricity when electrons flow from one end, called the anode, to the other, called the cathode. Whittingham put metallic lithium in one end and a layered material called titanium disulfide at the other; the titanium had spaces that could capture the flowing electrons.

But this combination of materials had the unfortunate potential to explode.

Around 1980 Goodenough switched out the titanium for another layered material, cobalt oxide, which proved to be more stable. His battery was also more powerful, doubling Whittingham’s two-volt capacity to four volts.

Then, in 1985, Yoshino changed the material at the anode end of the battery to something called petroleum coke, to which he could add lithium. Electrons flowed easily and safely between the two ends without reacting with surrounding materials and degrading them.

This combination of qualities gave Yoshino’s battery a long life and meant it could be recharged multiple times without losing performance. In 1991 a Japanese company began selling the first commercial version of this battery, and a new world of mobile electronics began to take shape."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/high-energy-award-lithium-batteries-win-2019-nobel-prize-in-chemistry1/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

daito_hak. I am sorry but I don’t think that Yoshino deserves the Nobel.

You need to go to the Wikipedia and read carefully about these three the Nobel prize in chemistry for 2019.

Indeed, it was in the 1970s that Whittingham began investigating the use of lithium, the smallest and lightest metal in the periodic table of the elements. That size and weight made it possible to pack a lot of lithium into a small space, unlike the large and heavy lead-acid batteries that dominated at the time. Lithium had another advantage: it easily gave up its electrons, and batteries produce electricity when electrons flow from one end, called the anode, to the other, called the cathode. Whittingham put metallic lithium in one end and a layered material called titanium disulfide at the other; the titanium had spaces that could capture the flowing electrons.

But this combination of materials had the unfortunate potential to explode.

Around 1980 Goodenough switched out the titanium for another layered material, cobalt oxide, which proved to be more stable. His battery was also more powerful, doubling Whittingham’s two-volt capacity to four volts.

Then, in 1985, Yoshino changed the material at the anode end of the battery to something called petroleum coke, to which he could add lithium. Electrons flowed easily and safely between the two ends without reacting with surrounding materials and degrading them.

This combination of qualities gave Yoshino’s battery a long life and meant it could be recharged multiple times without losing performance. In 1991 a Japanese company began selling the first commercial version of this battery, and a new world of mobile electronics began to take shape.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/high-energy-award-lithium-batteries-win-2019-nobel-prize-in-chemistry1/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can't even believe what someone wrote here. Science ALWAYS advanced on innovation and improvements based on earlier discoveries. According to that guy logic, the only people who would deserve the Nobel prize would be the ones like the inventor of the wheel.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With all the doom & gloom & natural disasters happening lately, what's wrong with a little national pride? It might also stir Japanese youngsters into studying science, especially since a recent survey indicated that youngsters these days would rather be a Youtuber than a scientist.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese TV media have reported about Nobel chemistry prize as if honor of Japanese only.

Present Japanese nationalists including Prime Minister Abe are using Nobel prize politically with words such as "Pride of Japan" "Greatness of Japanese race".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

daito_hak,

I am sorry but I don’t think that Yoshino deserves the Nobel. 

I come from the physical sciences side of things, and there would once have been a time that I would have agreed with that statement, though maybe more whimsically (caused by Physical Science vs. Engineering rivalry)

However, seeing how basic research inspires other researchers to devote their time to using that research to benefit society, I certainly can't agree with that viewpoint at all now, and consider Engineering work like Prof. Yoshino's as fully deserving of a Nobel in Chemistry. After all, engineering is applied Science*.

And most universities with which I am familiar with in Japan have their chemistry departments in their engineering faculties.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

kurisupisu,

"The biggest contribution to environmental protection is spreading the use of solar and wind power technologies that have an unstable electricity output," he said.

So, why doesn’t Japan have a more aggressive stance on promoting these technologies and not nuclear power?

Because the energy-storage required to replace large sections of the power-generating sector would be astronomical. Most batteries are used to smooth the output of wind and solar power, saving large amount of that power for when the sun doesn't shine nor the wind blow is another ballpark.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations!

Thank you for trying to save the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Congratulations!

daito_hak , thank you for the detailed information. I beg to differ though - what is the point of a discovery if it can't be used? Thus all contributing significantly for the practical implementation are equally deserving to be awarded!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yoshino is a Japanese, as simple as that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and considered impossible even 10 years ago.

Makes no sense, the commercial lithium-ion battery was introduced in 1991.

At 71, Yoshiro Sensei is proof Japanese can continue working after retirement age. Why retire when you can win the Nobel prize!

Ridiculous remark since he is not being awarded for any current work but for what he did back in the 80's. So the retirement argument makes no sense here.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Maybe you deserve it more than him, Genious !!..

I definitely don't deserve it but at least I write more intelligent posts than you. Did you even bother to read all my post or maybe I should have put some manga pictures so that you do?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am sorry but I don’t think that Yoshino deserves the Nobel. 

Oohhhh!!!, Really???!!!!!...

Maybe you deserve it more than him, Genious !!..

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I am sorry but I don’t think that Yoshino deserves the Nobel. 

His contribution to the industrial commercialization of the lithium-ion batteries is undeniable but he did not invent it. Whittingham was really the first to come up with the breakthrough that lead to today’s lithium-ion batteries. He was the first to shift the lithium battery away from lead-acid-like chemistry to intercalation (crystal structure with vacancies large enough allows the lithium to be inserted into this structure, process called intercalation). Him and his colleagues used titanium disulfide (a metal with two negatively charged ions) to achieve deep charge without potentially breaking the battery’s housing. After Whittingham demonstrated a battery based on this new chemistry at Exxon, Goodenough expended it, finding that cobalt dioxide performed much better than titanium disulfide, improving the voltage supplied by the battery substantially. In that sense, Goodenough’s contribution is also decisive in the development of the technology.

Yoshino’s work was more about taking the discoveries pioneered by Whittingham and Goodenough to develop a commercial product out of it. It was more applied engineering than fundamental research at this point. There was a significant issue that prevented to use these battery designs: the cathode was pure lithium metal. The present of metallic lithium created a chemical hazard if the battery was broken open, and it tended to have poor performance over multiple charge/discharge cycles. Also the volume of the lithium invariably changes as the anode material shuttled off to intercalate at the cathode, which put mechanical stress on the battery. 

Although people have even experiencing with carbon-based intercalation materials for anodes, there were still mechanical problems. Yoshino helped developed anode materials that were a mix of graphite layers for intercalation and a more interlinked form of carbon that held the whole thing together in a battery. His work started in 1985; by 1991 the first lithium-ion battery reach the market.

So again his contribution is again undeniable and very important in bringing lithium-ion batteries to market, but he is not the inventor of the core idea behind it. And I argue that a Nobel price should (as it used to be actually) award people who came with the bold idea that made the discovery. In this case it was really only Whittingham. A Nobel price should not be about the advances (albeit very important) for the industrial applications of an invention. And actually Japanese were good at that. They are not good at all at coming up with original ideas. But they are good at taking an idea and putting a lof of effort at commercializing it (a cynical point of view would see an attraction to profit).

I am not very happy with the direction the Nobel price comity has taken. The Nobel price should solely award people who came with the original idea and discovery (in this case the chemistry science itself) not the ones who used this idea and improved it to commercialize it. Again even if the latter is very important by itself to create what has become an important part of todays technology. 

As a final remark, I am really surprised that not honored by this year Prize was the work involved in developing electrodes that aren’t based on water but can still remain liquid at typical operating temperatures and shuffle lithium between a battery’s cathode and anode.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

All too often the wrong people are being rewarded..... this guy got a Nobel doing what he loves. What about the people that are doing what they do not enjoy but doing it anyway for the good of others.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The development of energy storage technology helps reduce the dependence on nuclear power plants. Great!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What the THREE researchers developed was so important because it enabled us to have things we now take for granted, like light laptops and small smartphones. Anyway, glad that Kyodo mentioned the two other gaijin winners' names, buried somewhere in the middle of the article.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan has gifted the modern world with so, so many things. Thank you and keep being awesome Nippon.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

.

Of the 28 or so,Nobel Prizes Japan had received over the years, over 20 of them are for research breakthroughs in the science domain - such as , Physics, Chemistry, Medicine.

.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Good for him and the other laureates.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

.

Though I agree with IloveCoffee's sentiment - I think - the preponderance of Nobel prizes being awarded to researchers in the disciplines of science and medicine in 'democratic' countries with 'free enterprize' systems is an endorsement of the scientific freedom and support within these systems .

( Whereas ,China also has capitalism - but its within a totalitarian paradigm)

.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Nobel Laureate Prize is one of the best examples of why capitalism works so great. It's amazing how even people who reject the "immorality" and "exploitative" nature of capitalism still, without realizing, support Capitalism by liking the Nobel Prize.

The success of the Nobel Laureate Prize in becoming so popular and craved award is all in the marketing. Pure capitalism. There are literally thousands and thousands of various scientific awards. There are tens of hundreds for each separate discipline alone. Yet somehow this particular one has become almost like the scientific version of the Olympic medal. There is even the Albert Einstein award for physics which i am sure very few people here know about. How can the Albert Einstein Award be less popular and craved for than the Nobel Laureate award? Does anybody here actually knows who Alfred Nobel is? The person who created this award. The man was some kind of an engineer, but most importantly, he was a businessman. A very clever businessman. While everybody knows who Albert Einstein is, and he is a symbol of science itself, Alfred had skills in marketing. By making the award so rare, he increased its value. While the prize itself isn't worth 2 cents, the fact that it's rare creates the value. Despite the many, many, many people of virtually no value who have won the prize, which should've discredited it for anybody who doesn't have a cabbage for a brain, people still crave for it. That's the power of marketing. Pure capitalism. Works every time.

Good marketing and sheep mentality can turn even a garden rock into a longed treasure.

"I have something you can't see"

"really?? Can i see it???".
-5 ( +4 / -9 )

So, why doesn’t Japan have a more aggressive stance on promoting these technologies and not nuclear power?

Why are you asking a scientist and not the government?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Congratulations Yoshiro Sensei on the amazing invention of Lion batteries! It is technology we all use every day, and considered impossible even 10 years ago.

At 71, Yoshiro Sensei is proof Japanese can continue working after retirement age. Why retire when you can win the Nobel prize!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"The biggest contribution to environmental protection is spreading the use of solar and wind power technologies that have an unstable electricity output," he said.

So, why doesn’t Japan have a more aggressive stance on promoting these technologies and not nuclear power?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Congratulations! Glad to see that smile. All the hard work rewarded.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

A true scientist.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

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