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Battery breakthrough: Part two

3 years ago

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Andrew English | Journalist


23 October 2021

In 2019 the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to Akira Yoshino, John Goodenough and Stanley Whittingham for the development of lithium-ion batteries. Sony produced the first commercial applications for the cell technology and they are common in consumer electronics and are almost universal fitment in battery cars.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries comprise five main components: cathode; anode; separator; current collectors; and electrolyte. The anode and cathode store the lithium and the electrolyte is the medium through which the positively charged lithium ions travel. When you charge the battery, the cathode gives up some of its lithium ions, which travel through the electrolyte and the separator to the anode. When you discharge the battery, these lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode generating a flow of electrons through the device (e.g. motor) you are powering with the battery.

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