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Catalyzing Greener Products

December 3, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
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Catalyzing Green

Yuriy Román leads a research group in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering. The core of his research is the catalytic conversion of the inedible parts of plant matter, such as cellulose and lignin, into chemicals useful for making fuels and substances like plastics, lubricants, and pharmaceuticals.[read more]

Q&A: Christopher Knittel on the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Plan

November 18, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gas

The EPA’s initial emissions proposal is now under public review, before the agency issues a final rule in 2015. Christopher Knittel, the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics at the MIT, is one of 13 economists who co-authored an article about the policy in the journal Science.[read more]

Two Views on Mitigation Economics

November 18, 2014 by David Hone
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The annual Forum held by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change is always an interesting event, and the recent Forum held in Boston was no exception thanks to a discussion on two very different approaches to triggering the necessary mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions.[read more]

Shedding Light on the Future of Photovoltaics

November 13, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Future of PV

Several government agencies, academic researchers, and firms have proposed scenarios for the future in which photovoltaic (PV) technologies grow rapidly. To support such growth, PV technologies would need to be developed with resource constraints in mind.[read more]

Wind Energy Reaches Greater Heights

November 7, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
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Turbine Construction and Efficiency

Wind turbines across the globe are being made taller to capture more energy from the stronger winds that blow at greater heights. But it’s not easy, or sometimes even economically feasible, to build taller towers, with shipping constraints on tower diameters and the expense involved in construction.[read more]

A World of Wireless Energy

October 30, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
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Wireless Energy Innovation

If you buy a 2016 Toyota Prius, you won’t need to worry about keeping your hybrid car charged — just get the option for wireless power transfer that lets you drive into your garage and have your battery automatically topped up from a pad on the floor.[read more]

Getting the Salt Out

October 23, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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]