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Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Helen Bradshaw writes that MIT researchers have improved the energy capacity of nonrechargeable batteries, the batteries used in pacemakers and other implantable medical devices, by employing a new type of electrolyte. “Expanding the life of primary batteries may also make them sustainable contenders,” writes Bradshaw. “Fewer batteries will have to be used in pacemakers as their lifespans increase, decreasing overall battery waste in addition to reducing the number of battery replacement surgeries needed.”

Vox

Dharik Mallapragada, a principal research scientist at the MIT Energy Initiative, speaks with Vox reporter Neel Dhanesha about the pressing need to find new ways to store renewable energy. “We need to think about solutions that go beyond conventional lithium-ion batteries,” says Mallapragada. “No single technology is going to make this happen. We have to think about it as a jigsaw puzzle, where every piece plays its role in the system.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Kripa Varanasi and his colleagues have founded Alsym Energy, a startup working toward developing a lithium battery alternative, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. The founders say “they’ve built a new kind of rechargeable battery that delivers the performance of lithium ion cells at half the cost,” writes Bray.

Science Friday

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Science Friday host Ira Flatow about the future of electric vehicles. “I think there is a lot happening in this space both coming from the private sector and then also from these government incentives coming in to accelerate that process,” says Trancik.

Bloomberg

MIT spinoff Gradiant, a water treatment facility developer, is working on new technology aimed at limiting the amount of water needed to produce lithium, reports Annie Lee and Janet Wu for Bloomberg. Gradiant’s process “can vastly improve lithium recovery and allow almost all wastewater to be recycled, has been developed in connection with Schlumberger’s NeoLith Energy venture,” writes Lee and Wu.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Emeritus Donald Sadoway and his colleagues have developed a safer and more cost-effective battery to store renewable energy, reports David Abel for The Boston Globe. The battery is “ethically sourced, cheap, effective and can’t catch fire,” says Sadoway.

The New York Times

In a letter to the editor, Professor Emeritus Donald R. Sadoway writes to The New York Times about the importance of developing new batteries that utilize readily available materials. “We need to attack it the old-fashioned American way: Invent our way out,” writes Sadoway. “This means devise a new battery chemistry that requires no cobalt, no nickel, no manganese and no lithium, but instead is made of substances that are earth-abundant and readily available here in North America.”

Science

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have developed a new cost-effective battery design that relies on aluminum ion, reports Robert F. Service for Science. “The battery could be a blockbuster,” writes Service, “because aluminum is cheap; compared with lithium batteries, the cost of materials for these batteries would be 85% lower.”

Forbes

Researchers at MIT have developed a battery that uses  aluminum and sulfur, two inexpensive and abundant materials, reports Alex Knapp and Alan Ohnsman for Forbes. “The batteries could be used for a variety of applications,” write Knapp and Ohnsman.

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have created a new battery using inexpensive and plentiful materials to store and provide power, reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The study’s authors believe that the battery can be used to support existing green energy systems such as solar or wind power for times when the sun isn’t shining or the air is still,” writes Tran. 

New Scientist

Prof. Donald Sadoway and his colleagues have developed a battery that can charge to full capacity in less than one minute, store energy at similar densities to lithium-ion batteries and isn’t prone to catching on fire, reports Alex Wilkins for New Scientist. “Although the battery operates at the comparatively high temperature of 110°C (230°F),” writes Wilkins, “it is resistant to fire because it uses an inorganic salt that can’t burn as its electrolyte, the material that allows charge to flow inside a battery.” Sadoway explains that “this is a totally new battery chemistry."

The Washington Post

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with Washington Post reporter Pranshu Verma about the growing field of smart textiles and his work creating fabrics embedded with computational power. Fink and his colleagues “have created fibers with hundreds of silicon microchips to transmit digital signals — essential if clothes are to automatically track things like heart rate or foot swelling. These fibers are small enough to pass through a needle that can be sown into fabric and washed at least 10 times.”

CBS Boston

Ambri, an MIT startup that has developed a liquid-metal battery that can be used for grid-level storage of renewable energy, has announced that it is months away from delivering its first battery to a customer, reports Jacob Wycoff for CBS Boston. "We want to have a battery that can draw from the sun even when the sun doesn't shine," said Prof. Donald Sadoway of the inspiration for Ambri’s battery.

WBUR

Prof. Donald Sadoway is the recipient of the 2022 European Inventor Award for his work in liquid metal batteries, reports WBUR. “MIT says the battery could enable the long-term storage of renewable energy,” says WBUR.

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe honored a number of MIT faculty and alumni in their Tech Power Players 50, a list of the “most influential – and interesting – people in the Massachusetts technology scene.” MIT honorees include Professor Yet-Ming Chiang, Senior Lecturer Brian Halligan, Professor Tom Leighton, Professor Silvio Micali, Katie Rae (CEO and managing partner for The Engine), and Professor Daniela Rus (director of CSAIL and deputy dean of research for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing).