The White House recently honored our country’s “top scientists and innovators” by presenting them with National Medals for outstanding contributions to science and engineering. One of these stand-out scientists, Dr. John Goodenough, received the National Medal of Science for his work on lithium-ion batteries – work that helped make the battery-operated, digital equipment in our lives possible.
In our increasingly-digitized world, we often take our technological equipment for granted. Dr. Goodenough’s advancements in lithium-ion battery technology helped pioneer the commercialization of rechargeable batteries, which enhance our lives by allowing us to bring modern technology with us on the go.
In the United States, lithium battery materials are powering innovation in our mobile technology, transportation and energy storage industries.
Electric and hybrid automobiles are increasingly powered by electric motors with large, lightweight batteries and lithium-ion batteries can even be used in the electric grid for load leveling in solar and wind powered electric-generation systems.
Lithium batteries also support our country’s energy and national security interests. In fact, the U.S. Department of Defense is already using solar-powered rechargeable battery systems to reduce the need for dangerous and expensive fuel supply chains.
From mobilizing phones to powering innovation in the auto industry to securing our national energy security, Dr. Goodenough’s advancement in lithium-ion battery technology is a gift that keeps on giving. His work not only helped to improve technical materials, but also advanced lithium-ion technology in a way that continues to fuel American innovation and economic growth through the extraction, manufacture and use of lithium-ion technology.