Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
The conference venue was at the Hyatt Hotel. It was a short walk from Chinatown. The hotel provided on-site dining and a 24-hour gym. It had dedicated conference rooms for academic activities.
Sarrot drove Lu Zhou to the destination and parked in the parking lot. He then walked to the elevator with Lu Zhou.
Not only was this conference a good opportunity to exchange academic ideas with peers, but it was also a good opportunity to expand ones network. Any ambitious researchers would take this opportunity seriously.
Lu Zhous flight and expenses were all paid for by the organizer of the conference. However, Sarrot had to pay for this conference out of his own pocket.
In the elevator, Lu Zhou looked at Sarrot and said, I plan on sleeping first, how about you?
Sarrot looked at Lu Zhou and said, Youre planning on sleeping? Theres a dance party later.
I dont know how to dance, said Lu Zhou. He then yawned before he continued, Plus one dance party is enough.
Lu Zhou was talking about the bigger, more formal dance party on the night of the conference.
It didnt matter if Lu Zhou attended these networking parties.
He had just gotten off from a long flight; he only wanted to sleep and prepare himself for the award and speech ceremony.
Sarrot said, Then go sleep, Im going to go to the lobby and chill for a bit. Do you want me to call room service for you?
Lu Zhou waved his hand and said, No need, you have fun. If Im hungry, I can call the front desk myself.
Sarrots room was on the third floor. He planned to dress himself up, like waxing his hair or something, before attending the dance party.
Lu Zhous room was on the fifth floor.
Lu Zhou went through the hallway and passed a couple of couches. Two men in suits noticed him and immediately stopped talking. They got up from the couch and walked toward him.
Lu Zhou looked at them and thought that one of them looked familiar.
The old man that looked familiar reached out his hand and said, Professor Lu, its nice to see you.
Hello you are?
The old man introduced himself in a polite manner, Im Stanley Whittingham from Binghamton University, New York.
When Lu Zhou heard his name, he suddenly remembered something.
Stanley Whittingham was a big name in the field of lithium batteries, no wonder Lu Zhou felt that he looked familiar.
In the early 70s, Stanley designed the first lithium battery using titanium sulfide as the anode material and lithium metal as the positive electrode material.
However, the lithium batteries were never industrialized due to the well-known lithium dendrites problem. It was only after Lu Zhous modified PDMS had solved the problem that the lithium batteries managed to successfully escape from the laboratory.
Nice to meet you. Lu Zhou shook Stanleys hand and looked at the other person before he asked, This is?
Professor Stanley said, This is Darren Woods, CEO of ExxonMobil.
Nice to meet you, Professor Lu, Darren Woods said with a smile as he reached out his right hand. He then added, Your theses in Science and Nature are quite impressive. However, some things are too difficult to understand, so Im afraid I have a lot of questions to ask of you.
Although Lu Zhou hadnt heard of Darren Woods before, he had certainly heard of ExxonMobil.
Two months ago, the CEO of ExxonMobil was still Rex Tillerson. However, in 2016, Rex was named the worlds most influential CEO and became the Secretary of State.
Woods was the successor of Tillerson.
Hello, Lu Zhou shook hands with this CEO and said, Mr. Woods, you are also interested in lithium batteries?
Woods smiled and said, Of course, oil is a precious raw material, but it is too wasteful to burn. Actually, due to reasons such as global warming and climate change, we are committed to investing in new energy fields. Batteries are naturally a crucial part.
Although ExxonMobil was primarily an oil company, they were also involved in chemicals, automotive, and various other industries.
The earliest lithium battery was made in Stanleys laboratory, which was funded by Mobil Chemical.
Lu Zhou smiled and didnt say anything.
It was normal for ExxonMobil to be interested in new energy industries. However, to claim that it was because of global warming was a joke.
Woods looked at Lu Zhou and said, Speaking of which, is there any progress on the synthesis of HCS-1?
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, Nope.
Thats unfortunate. Woods sighed and said, It is a good material, but its price is a bit unacceptable.
It was obvious that Mobil Chemical was also using the method described by Lu Zhou in the thesis, which was to use the heated reaction with carbon nanotubes and fullerene materials to obtain a small amount of HCS-1 before mixing in 20% of sulfur.
Although this method was inefficient, it had an excellent energy density.
After all, the application of lithium-sulfur batteries in things like drones or underwater operating equipment was in demand.
Lu Zhou smiled and said, Yeah, but I think there are many flaws with the material.
Woods shook his head and said, No, no, no, you dont get it! Not all batteries require a high number of cycle efficiency. Sometimes we use disposable batteries for its high energy density.
Woods paused for a second before continuing, Solving this problem would benefit the entire world. Do you need funding?
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, Unfortunately, I dont, so maybe you can invest in some other laboratories that have potential.
Thats a shame; it looks to me that no one else has as much potential as you.
Although Woods said it was a shame, he didnt look unsatisfied at all.
Obviously, ExxonMobil was also doing similar research in their laboratories.
They might have even produced results already.
Lu Zhou looked at Professor Stanley and realized what was going on.
These two are here to check on my research progress.
Lu Zhou couldnt help but shake his head.
You want to know my research progress?
Just buy a Science journal and read it.
Lu Zhou had never hidden his research.
They chatted for a while, and Lu Zhou got bored. He then said his goodbye and dragged his suitcase into his room.
As Woods looked at Lu Zhou walking away, he smiled and turned to Professor Stanley before he asked, Where do you think his research is at?
Professor Stanley frowned and said, Hard to say, hes a talented kid. If the Science theses are his complete results, then our chance of winning is still very high, but Im not sure.
Professor Stanley paused for a second before speaking again in a serious tone, Havent you noticed? Although we were asking about his research progress, he didnt care about our research at all