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Getting the Salt Out

October 23, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solving Salt Problems

The boom in oil and gas produced through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is seen as a boon for meeting U.S. energy needs. But one byproduct of the process is millions of gallons of water that’s much saltier than seawater, after leaching salts from rocks deep below the surface.[read more]

Former Indian Minister for Rural Development Discusses India's 'Growth Imperative' and Energy Future

October 17, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

India Growth and Planning

Former Indian Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh gave a talk at MIT entitled “The Growth Imperative: Plotting a Sustainable Energy Future for India.” Ramesh drew on his years of experience as a leader in the Indian government to discuss India's energy policies and plans.[read more]

New Approach to Boosting Biofuel Production

October 10, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

New Biofuel Approach

Yeast is commonly used to transform corn and other plant materials into biofuels such as ethanol. However, large concentrations of ethanol can be toxic to yeast, which has limited the production capacity of many yeast strains used in industry.[read more]

Crumpled Graphene Could Provide an Unconventional Energy Storage

October 8, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Graphene Storage Innovation

When someone crumples paper, that usually means it’s about to be thrown away. But researchers have now found that crumpling a piece of graphene “paper” can yield new properties that could be useful for creating extremely stretchable supercapacitors to store energy for flexible electronic devices.[read more]

George Shultz: "Climate is Changing," and We Need More Action

October 5, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

George Schultz on Climate Change

You might not picture former US Secretary of State George Shultz as someone who drives an electric car, or has solar panels on the roof of his home. But he does — and Shultz has become a vocal proponent of action to combat climate change.[read more]

How to Make a 'Perfect' Solar Absorber

October 1, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Energy Absorber Tech

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun — but not much of the rest of the spectrum.[read more]

New Formulation Leads to Improved Liquid Battery

September 26, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Improved Liquid Battery

Researchers at MIT have improved a proposed liquid battery system that could enable renewable energy sources to compete with conventional power plants. Donald Sadoway and colleagues have already started a company to produce electrical-grid-scale liquid batteries.[read more]

The Future of Energy Storage

September 17, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Storage and the Future

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Fikile Brushett is in the process of taking the power generated by wind and solar, chemically lashing it to molecules derived from flora and fauna, and storing it in liquids until it’s needed to electrify our homes.[read more]

Re-Inventing the Grid

September 5, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Grid Innovation

The challenge of selling any new idea is that it has to compete with every other new idea. The process is more difficult when the idea’s technology hasn’t existed and addresses an issue that some industries don’t see as a problem. Such is the reality of Ambri.[read more]

Materials Innovation: Designing Better Surfaces for Energy

August 29, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Better Surfaces for Energy

Solid core material is almost a given for technology. But just because the guts are right doesn’t guarantee success. The surface layer, in fact, can hold the key in some applications. Yet its importance is still easy to overlook. This area is where Bilge Yildiz keeps her focus.[read more]

Developing New Light and Energy Technologies

August 21, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

New Light and Energy Tech

Silvija Gradečak has big intentions for small ingredients. The associate professor of materials science and engineering focuses on energy-conversion and light-harvesting through the use of nanomaterials. It’s at these microscopic scales that she can customize components, meld parts, and create new materials.[read more]

Recycling Old Batteries into Solar Cells

August 19, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Batteries Recycled Into Solar

This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.[read more]

Running on Waste Heat

August 9, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Waste Heat and Power

It’s estimated that more than half of U.S. energy — from vehicles and heavy equipment, for instance — is wasted as heat. Mostly, this waste heat simply escapes into the air. But that’s beginning to change, thanks to thermoelectric innovators such as MIT’s Gang Chen.[read more]

Regulations Only a First Step in Cutting Emissions

July 30, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Steps to Cutting Emissions

Intensifying calls for action on climate change have led to a variety of proposed regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from specific sources of the economy, including, most recently, the environmental protection agency's rule on coal power plants.[read more]

Steam from the Sun

July 22, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Steam and New Materials

A new and innovative material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure, which consists of a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam, is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water.[read more]