Donald Sadoway has been changing the world through science for over 40 years. He is a one-man disruptor dedicated to developing solutions to the world's most pressing problems.
Donald Sadoway has been called an international thought leader, a visionary, and a leading developer of battery technology. Taking the approach of extreme electrochemistry, he has moved forward new battery chemistries but also innovation in metals extraction with molten oxide electrolysis, a new way to produce steel without CO2 emissions. Mitigating climate change requires radical, rapid solutions that transform our relationship with energy. Donald Sadoway is leading a wave of innovation with extreme electrochemistry and building the technology to get to carbon zero.
Donald Sadoway's research seeks to establish the scientific underpinnings of technologies that make efficient use of energy and natural resources in an environmentally sound manner.
The overarching theme of his work is electrochemistry in nonaqueous media focused on these technological challenges: environmentally sound electrochemical extraction of metals, liquid metal batteries for stationary storage applications, and solid-polymer-electrolyte batteries for portable power applications.
He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. His GroupSadoway lab at MIT is behind the invention of the Liquid Metal Battery, Molten Oxide Electrolysis, and many other technologies.
He is the inventor on 35 US patents, and author of over 175 scientific papers.
OpenCourseware: Introduction to Solid State Chemistry
Donald Sadoway, at Ambri
From the lab bench to commercialization, Donald Sadoway has founded new companies from his inventions.
Ambri, is deploying the Liquid Metal Battery for grid level storage. Boston Metal is producing green steel through the molten oxide electrolysis process. He is a co-inventor of the battery technology behind the SES battery.
In 2020 Donald Sadoway, with co-founder Emilie Bodoin, founded Pure Lithium in Boston. With their staff of scientists and engineers, they have invented the first battery-ready ultra-thin lithium metal electrode for next generation batteries.
At Sadoway Labs Foundation, in Watertown, MA, with a view toward commercialization, his team is scaling up the aluminum sulfur battery for small scale stationary storage. At Sadoway Labs, also housed in Watertown, Donald Sadoway has established a skunkworks for rapid testing of radical innovations in such disparate fields as new battery chemistry, carbon dioxide abatement, and materials synthesis, all falling under the umbrella of extreme extrochemistry.
The new Avanti battery is composed of aluminum, sulfur and rock salt. Available, abundant materials. Image: Rebecca Miller
Donald Sadoway's impact on engineering education has extended well beyond the lecture hall.
Online videos of his lectures in general chemistry hosted by MIT OpenCourseWare, have been viewed thousands of times from around the globe. Bill Gates has been quoted "Don Sadoway, MIT--best chemistry lectures everywhere. Unbelievable."
Donald Sadoway's TED talk, now viewed over 2 million times, is as much about inventing inventors as it is about inventing the Liquid Metal Battery.
Donald Sadoway was named winner of the European Inventor Award 2022 in the Non-EPO countries category for the Liquid Metal Battery. TIME Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world 2012. That same year he joined Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report for a hilarious discussion about the Liquid Metal Battery.