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WOW!  What a testament to age and experience – and a great mind!

John Goodenough, the man responsible for the lithium-ion battery, might just have his biggest breakthrough at the end of his career.

John B. Goodenough is one inventor proving age means nothing when it comes to churning out history-changing concepts. As Kelly Hodgkins of Digital Trends reports, the 94-year-old inventor is working with a team of researchers to develop a new, solid-state battery.

One battery, multiple energizing improvements

Goodenough’s new battery reportedly would be capable of storing three times what today’s lithium-ion batteries can handle. But that’s just the start of what’s going to make companies and consumers giddy. The battery, which features a glass electrolyte coated with sodium or lithium,

  • charges super fast (we’re talking done-by-the-time-you-finish-a-snack fast, not the painful hours that seem like eternity);
  • can handle temperature extremes (it’s fine anywhere from minus-4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-20 to 60 degrees Celsius), so even if you’re hunkered in an ice fishing shanty or making your way on a camel through the Sahara, you’re good);
  • Is capable of at least 1,200 charge-discharge cycles (that’s more than double the maximum of 500 that manufacturers generally specify for lithium-ion); and
  • Doesn’t produce dendrites during the charge-discharge cycle. (You know, dendrites. Those microscopic lithium fibers that accumulate and cause batteries to overheat and sometimes catch fire.)

Laptops, phones, cars, solar–and that’s just for starters

Goodenough and his team aren’t quite finished with the new battery. They’ve only created the glass-based anode. But they’re working out kinks with the cathode, and soon they’ll be able to make some large-scale cells. That’s going to be a monumental point, because many of today’s technologies are held back only by battery capabilities. The new solid-state version could improve basics like phones and laptops, but as Hodgkins points out, a bigger prize is powering electric cars, such as those by Tesla. Clean energy systems (e.g., wind, solar) also could use the new batteries. The benefits identified above, combined with the projected lower cost, finally could make those “green” products more practical than other options and turn them into the new standard.

Recognizing the energy and environmental crises the world currently has, he estimates that his field has only about 30 years to come up with a “super battery” before the world starts feeling environmental and resource difficulties. He readily acknowledges he’s not the only brain who can tackle the challenge, but he’s dedicated to focusing on it.

“I want to solve this problem before my chips are in,” he told Steve Levine of Quartz. “I’m only 92,” he added. “I still have time to go.”

Read the full article http://www.inc.com/wanda-thibodeaux/the-inventor-of-lithium-ion-batteries-has-a-new-product-hint-tesla-will-love-it.html

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