Nobel goes to makers of lithium-ion batteries that reduce fossil-fuel need

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Three scientists who developed lithium-ion batteries used to power technology from tools and toys to electric cars and smartphones were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday.

The award was announced for American chemist John B. Goodenough, British American chemist M. Stanley Whittingham and Japanese chemist Akira Yoshino. The Nobel committee said their work in developing the long-life batteries is contributing to a shift away from the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

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“Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives and are used in everything from mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles,” the Nobel committee said. “Through their work, this year’s Chemistry Laureates have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society.”

Goodenough is based at the University of Texas in Austin while Whittingham is a professor at Binghamton University in New York. Yoshino works for chemical company Ashai Kasei Corporation in Japan and is also a professor at Meijo University.