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National Geographic

National Geographic reporter Sadie Dingfelder writes that MIT scientists are using piezoelectric materials to develop a battery-free, underwater navigation system. “There are a lot of potential applications,” says Prof. Fadel Adib. “For instance, a scuba diver could use these sensors to figure out the exact place they took a particular picture.”

Inside EVs

24M Technologies, an MIT startup, and Volkswagen Group are joining forces to "manufacture next-generation lithium-ion EV batteries using the 24M SemiSolid platform,” reports Mark Kane for Inside EVs.

The Boston Globe

Nth Cycle, a company co-founded by Prof. Desiree Plata, has developed an extraction device that uses electric signals to identify valuable metals or black mass leftover from discarded electric batteries. “This modular system is easy to move and adapt and is far more efficient and environmentally friendly than the traditional methods of smelting or using a chemical wash to sort out the metals from the gunk,” writes Jon Chesto and Larry Edelman for The Boston Globe.

Forbes

Forbes contributor David Blackmon spotlights Ambri, an MIT startup that is developing liquid-metal batteries. Blackmon writes that Ambri has developing a new battery technology that could “help renewables like wind and solar scale up more rapidly in the coming years and help them occupy a larger share of electricity generation around the world.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle spotlights MIT startup Form Energy, which has created a battery prototype made of iron and oxygen that stores large amounts of power and can release it over days. Von Drehle writes that this new battery could usher in a “sort of tipping point for green energy: reliable power from renewable sources at less than $20 per kilowatt-hour.”

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Russell Gold spotlights how Form Energy, a startup co-founded by Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang, has developed an inexpensive iron-air battery that can discharge power for days. The batteries could be “capable of solving one of the most elusive problems facing renewable energy: cheaply storing large amounts of electricity to power grids when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing,” writes Gold.

The Economist

A new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik and postdoctoral associate Micah Ziegler examining the plunge in lithium-ion battery costs finds that “every time output doubles, as it did five times between 2006 and 2016, battery prices fall by about a quarter,” reports The Economist. “A doubling in technological know-how, measured by patent filings, is associated with a 40% drop in price.”

Bloomberg

MIT researchers have analyzed the role of long-duration energy storage technologies and found that large storage systems have the potential to lower electricity prices in a carbon-free grid by up to 40%, writes Eric Roston for Bloomberg. 

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Henry Sanderson spotlights Prof. Donald Sadoway’s work developing new battery chemistries that would allow batteries to store energy for longer than six hours.

BBC News

Prof. Fadel Adib speaks with BBC reporter Gareth Mitchell about a new battery-free underwater navigation system that his group developed. Adib explains that one of the key developments behind the new sensors is that they can “harvest power from sound.”

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new battery-free, underwater navigation system, reports Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch. “Ultimately, the system and future versions that are based on the same technology could enable future robotic submarine explorers to better map the ocean floor,” writes Etherington, “and perform all kinds of automated monitoring and sub-sea navigation.”

New York Times

XiaoZhi Lim at The New York Times reports on a new study co-authored by researchers at MIT, which found that “by using a new class of electrolytes composed of ionic liquids, or salts that remain liquid at room temperature,” it may be possible for a supercapacitor to store as much energy as a lithium-ion battery.

Associated Press

Prof. Donald Sadoway explains the benefits of battery storage in an Associated Press article about energy storage in Arizona. “Absent battery storage, the whole value proposition of intermittent renewable energy makes no sense at all…People just don’t understand that the battery will do for electricity what refrigeration did to our food supply.”

New Scientist

A new MIT study suggests that “strings of plastic balls dangled in the ocean could harvest enough cobalt for hundreds of thousands of electric car batteries,” reports David Adam for New Scientist. The researchers think the system could “catch enough dissolved cobalt from seawater each year to make a battery for every Tesla Model 3 that has rolled off the production line so far,” says Adam.

Gizmodo

Researchers at MIT and Stanford have developed an algorithm that can predict the potential lifespan of a battery after just a handful of charges. “The algorithm doesn’t completely replace actually testing samples until they die,” writes Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo, “but it could help engineers quickly ascertain if changes they’re testing have the potential for improvement.”