Periodic Videos on the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry win

Article by Amanda Jasi

YOUTUBE star and chemist Martyn Poliakoff has published a video looking at lithium-ion batteries, after the technology’s developers scooped a Nobel Prize last week.

Poliakoff works to gain insights into fundamental chemistry and to develop environmentally acceptable processes and materials. He is a Research Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, UK and leads the Periodic Videos YouTube channel. The channel has 1.26m subscribers and is well-known for its videos teaching about the elements.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was won by John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino, who each made essential contributions to the development of lithium-ion batteries.

“It’s been awarded to the people who really made lithium-ion batteries what they are today and gave us the kind of devices we all take for granted,” said Darren Walsh, Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry at Nottingham.

Poliakoff said: “Energy efficient batteries, batteries that are light and store a lot of energy, are really important for decarbonising our life. Allowing us to use energy but without discharging so much CO2 into the atmosphere.”

In the video, Walsh explains the workings of lithium-ion batteries and the contributions made by the Nobel Laureates to their development. Poliakoff, meanwhile, provides commentary  while a colleague takes apart an electric motorcycle’s lithium-ion battery, a mobile phone battery, and an “old-fashioned” AA-battery which doesn’t employ modern lithium-ion technology.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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