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Fast Company

Sublime Systems, an MIT startup, is developing new technology to fully decarbonize the cement manufacturing process, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “Instead of using heat to break down rocks for cement, the startup uses chemistry to dissolve them, and then blends the components back together into what it calls ‘Sublime Cement,’” explains Peters. “The process can replace limestone with other minerals, including rocks found at high volumes in industrial waste, so it’s also possible to eliminate the emissions from limestone.”

TechCrunch

Lynn Yamada Davis '77, a TikTok creator known as “the internet’s grandma” for sharing her “quirky, educational cooking content,” has died at age 77, reports Morgan Sung for TechCrunch. “Before she was a content creator, Davis was an accomplished engineer — a feat for women of color at the time,” writes Sung.

New York Times

Lynn Yamada Davis '77, “a TikTok creator who brought joy to millions of people with her zany style and cooking tips on her account, Cooking With Lynja,” has died at 67, writes Claire Moses for The New York Times. Before becoming a TikTok star, Davis “had this whole chapter as a groundbreaking female engineer, and she was very proud of that,” her daughter Hannah Shofet explained. Her son, Sean Davis noted that the final chapter of her life spent travelling the world, meeting people and cooking and eating amazing food was “exactly how she would have wanted it to be written.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters spotlights how researchers at MIT have combined cement with carbon black to make concrete that can store energy as one of the climate tech innovations that provide hope “that it’s still possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” With this new technology, “the foundation of your future house could eventually store solar power from your roof,” explains Peters.

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.” 

Newsweek

MIT researchers have developed a supercapacitor comprised of concrete and charcoal, that can store electricity and discharge as needed, reports Aleks Phillips for Newsweek. Researchers hope the device can provide “a cheap and architectural way of saving renewable energy from going to waste,” writes Phillips.

The Atlantic

A study co-authored by research scientist Evan Fricke found that “extinctions and declines in habitat [of migratory birds] have dramatically reduced the long-distance dispersal of seeds,” reports Liam Drew for The Atlantic. “There have been really strong declines in long-distance seed dispersal as a result of the massive loss of big animals from the ecosystems,” says Fricke.

WBUR

WBUR reporter Daniel Ackerman spotlights Sublime Systems, an MIT startup working to develop “construction-ready, emissions-free cement.” Ackerman explains that: “Sublime’s new approach uses electricity instead of heat. That means the process can be powered with renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. The method also prevents carbon dioxide from escaping the carbon-rich limestone during combustion.”

Associated Press

In an article about how researchers are exploring why ancient Roman and Mayan buildings are still standing, AP reporter Maddie Burakoff highlights how researchers from MIT found that an ancient Roman technique for manufacturing concrete gave the material “self-healing” properties. “We don’t need to make things last quite as long as the Romans did to have an impact,” says Prof. Admir Masic. If we add 50 or 100 years to concrete’s lifespan, “we will require less demolition, less maintenance and less material in the long run.”

The Boston Globe

Researchers at MIT have developed a supercapacitor, an energy storage system, using cement, water and carbon, reports Macie Parker for The Boston Globe. “Energy storage is a global problem,” says Prof. Franz-Josef Ulm. “If we want to curb the environmental footprint, we need to get serious and come up with innovative ideas to reach these goals.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters writes that MIT researchers have developed a new type of concrete that can store energy, potentially enabling roads to be transformed into EV chargers and home foundations into sources of energy. “All of a sudden, you have a material which can not only carry load, but it can also store energy,” says Prof. Franz-Josef Ulm.

New Scientist

MIT engineers have uncovered a new way of creating an energy supercapacitor by combining cement, carbon black and water  that could one day be used to power homes or electric vehicles, reports Jeremy Hsu for New Scientist. “The materials are available for everyone all over the place, all over the world,” explains Prof. Franz-Josef Ulm. “Which means we don’t have the same restriction as with batteries.”

Popular Science

MIT researchers have discovered that when combined with water, carbon black and cement can produce a low-cost supercapacitor capable of storing electricity for later use, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “With some further fine-tuning and experimentation, the team believes their enriched cement material could one day compose portions of buildings’ foundations, or even create wireless charging,” writes Paul.

Science

Researchers at MIT have found that cement and carbon black can be combined with water to create a battery alternative, reports Robert Service for Science. Professor Franz-Josef Ulm and his colleagues “mixed a small percent of carbon black with cement powder and added water,” explains Service. “The water readily combines with the cement. But because the particles of carbon black repel water, they tend to clump together, forming long interconnected tendrils within the hardening cement that act like a network of wires.”

Marketplace

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with Marketplace host Meghan McCarty Carino about how AI has impacted the workplace, highlighting the wide deployment of robots in warehouses. “Instead of people running around the warehouses, the people stand and the robots run around the warehouses,” Sheffi said. “But they bring the work to the people who then put it in boxes, package them.”