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Energy Wire

Researchers at MIT have developed a cathode, the negatively-charged part of an EV lithium-ion battery, using “small organic molecules instead of cobalt,” reports Hannah Northey for Energy Wire. The organic material, "would be used in an EV and cycled thousands of times throughout the car’s lifespan, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and avoiding the need to mine for cobalt,” writes Northey. 

Associated Press

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Associated Press reporter Alexa St. John to discuss electric vehicle emissions and ownership costs. Trancik notes, “buyers should consider total cost of ownership, which for an EV is generally less than that of a gas-powered counterpart due to savings on maintenance and fuel.”

Time Magazine

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang has been named to the TIME 100 Climate list, which highlights the world’s most influential climate leaders in business. “When it comes to cleantech, if it won’t scale, it doesn’t matter,” Chiang says. “This is a team sport—companies large and small, and governments state and federal, need to work together to get these new technologies out there where they can have impact.” 

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson spotlights Form Energy, an MIT startup that will produce long-duration batteries using an electrochemical reaction that turns iron into rust and back again. Patterson notes that the goal at Form Energy was to “develop batteries that were cheap, didn’t catch fire, didn’t need scarce and costly metals like cobalt and lithium, and could produce electricity for a long time.”

Associated Press

Studies by researchers at MIT have found “that shifting to electric vehicles delivers a 30% to 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over combustion vehicles,” reports Tom Krisher for Associated Press. According to Prof. Jessika Trancik, “electric vehicles are cleaner over their lifetimes, even after taking into account the pollution caused by the mining of metals for batteries,” writes Krisher.

Associated Press

Prof. John Goodenough, who shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work developing the lithium-ion battery, has died at age 100, reports Jim Vertuno for the AP. Goodenough “began his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his research laid the groundwork for development of random-access memory for the digital computer.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Brian Murphy memorializes the life and work of Prof. John Goodenough, who worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory for over 20 years. Goodenough was “an American scientist who shared a Nobel Prize for helping create the lithium-ion battery that powered the mobile tech revolution and provides the juice for electric cars, but who later raised worries about a design that relies on scarce natural resources,” writes Murphy.

The New York Times

New York Times reporter Robert D. McFadden highlights the work of Prof. John Goodenough, a scientist who worked at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory for over 20 years and played a “crucial role in developing the revolutionary lithium-ion battery” has died at age 100. “At MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in the 1950s and ’60s, he was a member of teams that helped lay the groundwork for random access memory (RAM) in computers and developed plans for the nation’s first air defense system,” writes McFadden.

PBS NOVA

Professor Yet-Ming Chiang of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) talks to NOVA’s Miles O’Brien about his research aimed at closing gaps in renewable energy availability when there’s no sun or wind. Through their company, Form Energy, Chiang and William Woodford PhD ’13 have developed iron-air batteries that can store electricity for up to 100 hours. “This is something that just a few years ago was considered impossible,” Chiang explains.

CleanTechnica

MIT researchers have found that by “encouraging strategic EV charging placement, rather than allowing EV chargers to be situated merely due to charging company convenience or preferences” it may be possible to “mitigate or eliminate EV charging problems without the need for advanced technological systems of connected devices and real-time communications, which could add to costs and energy consumption,” reports Carolyn Fortuna for CleanTechnica.

PV Magazine

MIT researchers have found that placing EV charging stations in strategic locations and setting up charging systems to initiate charging at delayed times could help reduce the impact of EVs on the electrical grid, reports Michael Schoeck for PV Magazine.

Fast Company

MIT scientists have found that delayed charging and strategic placement of EV charging stations could help reduce additional energy demands caused by more widespread EV adoption, reports Grace Carroll for Fast Company. “Leveraging these two strategies together significantly eliminates any additional energy demands,” writes Carroll, “and can be tailored to specific local conditions to help cities meet their decarbonization goals.”

The Hill

A new study by MIT researchers finds that strategic placement of EV charging stations and creating systems to help stagger charging times could help reduce or eliminate the need for new power plants to handle the impact of EV charging on the grid, reports Sharon Udasin and Saul Elbein for The Hill. The researchers found that “better availability of charging stations at workplaces could help take advantage of peak power being produced midday by solar energy facilities.”

Scientific American

Writing for Scientific American, John Fialka spotlights Form Energy, an MIT spinout designing an iron-air battery that “could help decarbonize the nation’s power sector more cheaply than lithium-ion storage systems.” Fialka explains that “unlike current lithium-ion batteries that require expensive materials mostly from other countries such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, the proposed battery stores electricity using widely available iron metal.” 

Physics World

Physics World has named two research advances by MIT researchers to its list of the Top 10 Breakthroughs of the Year. Prof. Gang Chen and his colleagues were selected for their work “showing that cubic boron arsenide is one of the best semiconductors known to science.” Prof. Asegun Henry, grad student Alina LaPotin and their colleagues were nominated for “constructing a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell with an efficiency of more than 40%.”