“Good enough” are just words in his last name, but not ones John B. Goodenough seems to live by. The 97-year-old, widely referred to as the “father of the lithium-ion batteries,” continues to awe the battery field. According to IEEE Spectrum, the 2019 Nobel Prize winner recently co-developed a rapid-charging, non-flammable, glass battery.
The high capacity battery charges in “minutes rather than hours,” according to Maria Helena Braga, professor of engineering at the University of Porto in Portugal, who worked with Goodenough to develop the solid state lithium rechargeable which uses a glass doped with alkali metals as the battery’s electrolyte. In addition, the solid state electrolyte is not flammable and preforms in both cold and hot weather.
Karim Zaghib, general director of the utility’s Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage and long-time ECS member, says the lithium iron phosphate battery is “one of the safest materials for lithium ion today.”
Zaghib explains Goodenough and Braga’s battery—a.k.a. Hydro-Québec’s “Gen 3″—is an inorganic compound with higher ionic conductivity compared to the polymer. This means ions shuttle back and forth more readily between cathode and anode, which could potentially improve a battery’s capacity, charging speed, or other performance metrics.
Hydro-Québec is working to commercialize the glass battery and plans to have “the technology ready for one or more commercial partners in two years.”