Battery Inventors-Introduction and Technology

Oct 14, 2021   Pageview:28

Batteries have become one of the most important devices in our lives. We use them in our cars, phones, cameras, and laptops, and so on. It is almost impossible to live an hour without using a battery. But who invented a battery? Well, let’s talk about this!

Batteries are an incredible invention with a storied and long history, and an equally more promising future. 

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First, a battery is basically a device that stores the chemical energy, which is converted into electricity. Essentially, batteries are small chemical reactors. It is the reaction that produces energetic electrons that are ready and able to flow through an external device. 

It is important to note that batteries have been around for a long time. It all started in 1938 when the Baghdad Museum’s Director discovered what we now know as the “Baghdad Battery” in the museum’s basement. According to analysis, it is dated at around at around 250BC. Analysis considers the “Baghdad Battery” as of Mesopotamia origin.  

This earliest example of the battery is surrounded by controversy, but some of the suggested uses include a religious tingle, pain relief, and electroplating. The term “battery” was first used in 1749 by American inventor and scientist when he was using a series of linked capacitors to experiment with electricity.  

Battery Technology Inventors 

The first true battery was invented in 1800 by Alessandro Volta, a renowned Italian physicist. Volta stacked discs of zinc (Zn) and Copper (Cu) separated by clothe that had been soaked in salty water. 

Wires that were connected to each end of the stack generated a continuous stable current. Ever cell (a set of a Zn and Cu disc and the brine) typically produces 0.76 Volts (V). Basically, a multiple of this value is simply obtained given by how many cells have been stacked together. The more cells stacked together the more Volts will be produced. 

The lead-acid battery, which is among the most enduring batteries, was invented in 1859. This is still the battery technology that is used to start today’s most internal combustion engine cars. Lead-acid battery is actually the oldest example of a rechargeable battery. 

We all see batteries coming in a wide range of sizes today, from large Megawatt sizes, which essentially store the power from substation or solar farms to guarantee stable and enough supply in entire islands or villages, down to tiny batteries such as those that are used in electric watches. 

It is important to note that batteries are based on various different chemistries, which basically generate basic cell voltages classically in in the 1.0 V to 3.6 V range.  

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Li-ion Battery Inventor

New technologies always demand more compact, rechargeable, safe, higher capacity batteries. Li-ion or lithium-ion batteries invention was the first great leap forward in the overall battery technology area. 

A new kind of lithium battery was invented by the renowned American physicist Professor John Goodenough in 1980. In this type of lithium battery, the Li (lithium) could migrate through a battery from one electrode to another as a Li+ ion. 

Professor John Goodenough, who is currently at The University of Texas at Austin, at the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been feted for his invention of li-ion battery and for other contributions in the development of battery. He won the Royal Society’s Copley Medal award, which is the oldest scientific prize in the world. 

Professor John Goodenough is already a member of the Royal Society. He is being honored for his extraordinary contributions to material science. His contribution to material science include the number of discoveries by him that led to the rechargeable lithium battery invention. The rechargeable lithium battery is used worldwide in devices like smartphones and laptops. 

By having received the premier award of the Royal Society, Professor John Goodenough now joins an elite group of gentlemen and women, such as Charles Darwin, Dorothy Hodgkin, Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, and Benjamin Franklin who have also been the recipient of the Copley Medal due to their extraordinary contributions to engineering and science in the past. 

If you know the basics of chemistry, you are certainly aware that in the periodic table, lithium falls under a category of the lightest elements. Lithium also has one of the largest available electrochemical potentials. It is this combination that enables lithium to produce very high voltages in the lightest and most compact volumes. 

This is essentially the basis for Li-ion battery. Lithium, in this new battery, is combined with oxygen and a transition metal – such as iron, manganese, nickel, or cobalt – to form the cathode. When recharging the battery, a voltage is applied, making the positively charged lithium ion to migrate from the cathode to the graphic anode, thereby becoming lithium metal. 

The lithium-ion based model and other innovations in the battery technology helped liberate the world and its society from its dependence on cables. The inventor of li-ion battery, Professor John Goodenough, is now focused on developing technology that will liberate people from their reliance on fossil fuels. 

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Inventors of the Electric Battery

The modern development of electric batteries began with the Voltaic pile. Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist is the one who invented Voltaic pile. He announced the Voltaic pile in 1800. This battery essentially consisted of a pile of copper and zinc discs separated by a cardboard or cloth soaked in brine. 

John Fredric Daniell, a British chemist, searched for ways in which gas buildup in the Alessandro Volta’s Voltaic pile could be eliminated. He used a second electrolyte that was to consume the hydrogen that the first electrolyte produced. In 1836, John Fredric Daniell invented the Daniell cell. The Daniell cell consisted of a copper pot that was filled with the copper sulphate solution. By this time all batteries were drained permanently after their chemical reactions had been spent. 

The lead/acid cell was invented by Gaston Plante in 1859. This was the first rechargeable battery. 

An improved version of lead-acid rechargeable battery was invented by Camille Faure in 1881. The lead grid lattice was a component of this battery. 

Electric battery technology improved over the years with various inventions. The Eveready Company developed the most common type of electric battery that is used today in 1955. 

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