Tokyo (dpa) - This year's Nobel laureate for chemistry, the Japanese Akira Yoshino, enjoys a reputation as a father of lithium-ion batteries.
Born in 1948 in Suita, Japan, he graduated from the University of Kyoto in 1970 with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in engineering from Osaka University in 1972. The PhD engineer then worked for the domestic chemical company Asahi Kasei, later for the joint venture A & T Battery, before returning to the 1997 Asahi Kasei Group.
When Japan began selling new electronics such as video cameras and cordless phones, Yoshino, who worked for the Asahi Kasei group, saw the need for rechargeable batteries. He just looked where the trends were going, Yoshino said. "You can say, I had a good nose." Yoshino began in 1981 with the development of rechargeable batteries. In 1983, the Japanese presented a first prototype, which was later changed. His achievements contribute significantly to the development of electric vehicles and energy storage systems, said his decades-long employer Asahi Kasei.
The Japanese, who took up a professorship at Meijō University in 2017, has already received several awards, and was awarded the European Inventor Award in June. He sees in his contribution to the development of lithium-ion batteries a solution to the environmental problems of our time. This was honored with the awarding of the Nobel Prize to him, the American John Goodenough and the British-born Stanley Whittingham, said the 71-year-old in a first reaction to the high honor.