A U.S. researcher focused on energy storage was one of two professors worldwide who were honored with the 2019 Global Energy Prize announced Thursday in Russia.
Khalil Amine of the U.S. and Danish professor Frede Blaabjerg were awarded the prestigious prize from the Global Energy Association. Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak handed out the honor in Moscow.
Amine, who hails from Morocco and works at the Argonne National Laboratory, has authored advanced materials and systems for electric vehicles, power generation, satellites, the military and medical industries. Some of his innovations are used by the largest corporations in the world, according to the Global Energy Prize release.
One of his latest innovations is a new superoxide battery close system capable of yielding up to five times more energy than lithium-ion batteries, the release reads.
“The work I am recognized for with today’s prize is a small contribution to advance energy storage technology,” Amine said in a statement. “I hope that my efforts will help accelerate mass electrification of vehicles by increasing their range and making them more affordable. Throughout my career, I have received many awards. However, the Global Energy Prize is by far the biggest in both prestige and recognition. Therefore, I will cherish it all my life.”
He received his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Bordeaux, France in 1989 and has studied new materials for next-generation batteries throughout his career. Before joining Argonne in 1998, Amine led research projects in the research arms of several organizations, including the Japan Storage Battery Company, the Osaka National Research Institute, and Kyoto University.
Blaabjerg works at Aalborg University’s Center of Reliable Power Electronics. He is widely known for commercial implementation of new conceptual methods for power reliability.
The Danish professor has invented a number of variable speed-drive technologies, used in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. The Global Energy Association release estimated that Blaabjerg’s work has resulted in energy savings worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Amine and Blaabjerg share the award’s $600,000 in prize money and receive golden medals and labels.
Past Global Energy Prize winners include Akira Yoshino of Japan, inventor of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and Australia’s Martin Green, who developed efficiencies and cost savings for solar photovoltaics.
Another U.S. winner was Nick Holonyak Jr. He invented the light-emitting diode (LED) in 1962.