Daramic/Asahi Kasei’s Akira Yoshino awarded Japan Prize

Lead battery separator manufacturer Daramic announced on March 1 that technical fellow Akira Yoshino, from its parent company Asahi Kasei, has won one of the most prestigious awards in science and technology, the Japan Prize.

Yoshino will be awarded the prize in the field of Resources, Energy, Environment and Social Infrastructure in recognition of his contributions to the development of the lithium-ion battery. He will be handed the prize in a ceremony in April.

Yoshino is credited with inventing a new combination of carbon for the negative electrode and lithium cobalt oxide for the positive electrode. He also developed the fundamental lithium battery technology, and fabricated the first battery cell.

Although Yoshino’s work was mainly with lithium batteries, a spokesperson from Daramic said the company was only able to make advances in lead-acid batteries because of him.

“Asahi Kasei’s understanding of electrochemistry through Dr Yoshino’s work has led to continued innovation in advanced electrification and energy storage technologies including the advancement of the lead-acid battery with Daramic,” a company statement said.

“Leveraging the expertise of its parent company, along with Dr Yoshino and his team, Daramic has access to Asahi Kasei’s advanced research and development resources including fundamental analysis, material testing, and analytical proficiency. These advanced capabilities help support Daramic in enhancing the lead-acid battery.”

The Japan Prize has been awarded every year since 1985. It is presented to individuals whose original and outstanding achievements are not only scientifically impressive, but have also served to promote peace and prosperity for all mankind.

The prize was created by the Japanese government and supported with a personal donation from Konosuke Matsushita, the late founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Company.