John B. Goodenough, which sounds like a completely made up name but is entirely real, was one of the researchers credited for the invention of the lithium ion battery. He’s one name in a long list of researchers and inventors that dates back to 1973, but he’s routinely credited for the work.
The guy’s 94 today, and he’s still working on battery tech. Goodenough, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and his team have created a completely solid-state battery cell. It’s safer than what we have today, charges faster and lasts longer.
Here’s what Goodenough told science journal Engery & Environmental Science about the new tech and how it could be used with, for instance, cars.
“Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries…”
We need better batteries
If we want to change up how we rely on current energy production, we absolutely need better batteries. For our cars and our phones to last longer while staying safe, it sounds like Goodenough’s team is onto something.
The solid-state nature of the batteries makes them great at extreme low and high temperatures, another potential win for the industry.
What about global footprint? According to Goodenough, these things can be made from sodium extracted from sea water. We have lots of that, don’t we?