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Lithium battery inventor wins Nobel Prize

The 2019 Nobel Prizes have been announced one after another. On October 9th local time, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that it has decided to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for their outstanding contributions to the development of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

The Nobel Prize Committee in Chemistry stated that the three scientists have made important contributions to the development of this lightweight, Rechargeable battery, which now powers portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, making a "fossil-free society" possible— -This technology has successfully led a world energy storage revolution.

The British "Guardian" said that Goodenough is the oldest recipient of the Nobel Prize so far.

Pioneering lithium battery research

Perhaps before this, you may have never heard of JohnBannisterGoodenough. But you must know what he is studying. In fact, you are very likely to own his "works."

The 97-year-old John B. Goodenough is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, a well-known solid-state physicist, and the inventor of lithium cobalt oxide, lithium manganate and lithium iron phosphate cathode materials, lithium ion One of the founders of the battery is called "the father of lithium batteries" by the industry.

Looking back at the technological leaps in the past six to seven decades, there are two inventions that have a profound impact on economic and social development: the first major invention was the transistor that was born in Bell Labs in 1947. Its appearance changed electronic products and laid the foundation for the global economy and modern civilization. The second invention is a lithium battery.

In the late 1970s, a type of battery was called a lithium battery because it used metallic lithium as an electrode. Under the same quality, lithium batteries can store more electricity than other batteries, so they are very popular in the market. For example, at the time, "Big Brother" mobile phones used this kind of lithium batteries.

The holder of lithium battery technology is a Canadian company called MoliEnergy. Just as they were preparing for a big fight, bad news came-lithium batteries have serious safety hazards!

Less than half a year after it came out, this kind of lithium battery was recalled globally because of fire and explosion. Since then, Moli has been in a slump. This short-lived company that dominated the global battery market was short-lived and was finally acquired by Japan's NEC.

Moreover, the electrolyte used in lithium-ion batteries is a mixed liquid of organic substances, which is flammable and explosive, and poses great safety risks. This is also an important reason for the embargo on lithium-ion batteries such as aircraft.

The team led by Goodenough successively researched and invented lithium manganese oxide (Li2MnO4) and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4).

In 1980, 57-year-old physicist Goodenough invented the most important component in lithium batteries, the cobalt oxide cathode. Now portable electronic devices all over the world use this kind of cathode.

Sony adopted Goodenough's theory in 1991 and produced the world's first commercial lithium battery. Later, lithium battery products gradually replaced bulky electronic devices that rely on transistors. Since then, mobile phones, cameras, handheld cameras, and even electric vehicles have entered the era of portable new energy.

Lithium battery new energy has broadened the application range of transistors. If there were no lithium batteries, there would be no smartphones, tablets, and laptops, as well as the devices we are reading this article now. Of course, Apple, Samsung, Tesla and other companies will not appear, and their significance to the development of human society is immeasurable.

Lithium battery vs lithium polymer battery

With the development of social science and technology, the use and demand of new energy batteries in various industries have become increasingly complex, and higher requirements have been put forward for the R&D and design of batteries, so energy batteries have emerged in line with the new era. This is- lithium polymer battery.

Lithium battery: Lithium battery is a kind of negative electrode material made of lithium metal or lithium alloy. Due to the very active chemical characteristics of lithium metal, the processing, storage and use of lithium metal have very high environmental requirements.

Lithium polymer battery: refers to a lithium ion battery that is all solid or gel too electrolyte. Generally, aluminum-plastic composite film is used as packaging material. Also known as the soft pack battery.

From the perspective of battery internal materials, the internal electrolyte of lithium polymer batteries is mainly polymer. This packaging film is composed of three layers, namely PP layer, Al layer and nylon layer. Since PP and nylon are polymers, Such batteries are called polymer batteries.

What is the difference between the two types of batteries?

1. The principle is different. Lithium batteries can be roughly divided into two categories: lithium metal batteries and lithium ion batteries. Lithium metal batteries are generally non-rechargeable and contain metallic lithium. Lithium-ion batteries do not contain metallic lithium and are rechargeable. Lithium polymer batteries refer to all-solid-state or gel-to-electrolyte lithium-ion batteries. Generally, aluminum-plastic composite films are used as packaging materials.

2. Different raw materials. In addition to the inorganic compound of the lithium battery, the positive electrode material of the polymer battery can also be a conductive polymer; the electrolyte of the polymer battery includes a polymer electrolyte (solid or colloidal) and an organic electrolyte. Lithium battery packs use electrolyte (liquid or gel).

3. Shaping the difference. Polymer batteries can be thinned, arbitrarily shaped, and arbitrarily shaped because the electrolyte can be solid or colloidal rather than liquid. Lithium batteries use electrolyte, which requires a sturdy casing as a secondary package to contain the electrolyte. Therefore, this also makes the lithium battery add some weight.

4. Cell voltage. Because the polymer battery uses polymer materials, it can be made into a multi-layer combination in the battery to achieve high voltage. The nominal capacity of lithium battery cells is 3.6V. In order to achieve high voltage in practical use, multiple cells need to be connected in series to form an ideal high-voltage working platform.

5. Security. Lithium battery packs have passed national safety monitoring and are non-explosive, non-flammable, non-fire, and safe and reliable. Current polymer batteries are mostly soft-packed batteries, using aluminum plastic film as the outer shell, and when organic electrolytes are used inside, they will not explode even if the liquid is hot.

6. Conductivity. The conductivity of lithium batteries maintains a stable value without being affected by the quality of auxiliary materials. The ionic conductivity of the solid electrolyte of polymer batteries is low. At present, some additives are mainly added to make it into a gel electrolyte to improve the conductivity.

7. Battery capacity. The capacity of polymer batteries has not been effectively improved, and has been reduced compared with standard capacity lithium batteries. The lithium battery pack has large capacity and small volume.

In summary, the lithium polymer battery has many obvious advantages such as high energy density, smaller size, ultra-thin, lightweight, high safety and low cost, and is a new type of battery. In terms of shape, lithium polymer batteries have ultra-thin features, and can be made into batteries of any shape and capacity to meet the needs of various products. It has a wider future in future applications.

Finally, by the way, remind everyone that many electronic devices currently belong to lithium batteries and are not allowed to be checked and can only be carried with you. For example, batteries for mobile power supplies, cameras, mobile phones, notebook computers and other electronic products are all lithium batteries and must be carried with you. Therefore, choosing the new national standard polymer battery mobile power supply is relatively safe and more secure!

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