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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.”

IEEE Spectrum

MIT researchers have developed a new compact, lightweight design for a 1-megawatt electrical motor that “could open the door to electrifying much larger aircraft,” reports Ed Gent for IEEE Spectrum. “The majority of CO2 is produced by twin and single-aisle aircraft which require large amounts of power and onboard energy, thus megawatt-class electrical machines are needed to power commercial airliners,” says Prof. Zoltán Spakovszky. “Realizing such machines at 1 MW is a key stepping stone to larger machines and power levels.”

Forbes

Lisa Dyson PhD ‘04 founded Air Protein, a company looking to “bring recycled carbon cultivated into food with the taste and texture of chicken, meat, and seafood,” reports Geri Stengel for Forbes.    

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Simon Mundy and Kaori Yoshida spotlight Gradiant, an MIT startup that has developed new methods of handling industrial wastewater. “Gradiant promises customers that its technology will allow them to purify and reuse larger amounts of water, reducing the amount they need to source externally,” write Mundy and Yoshia.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman highlights Gradiant, an MIT startup that has developed a water purification system based on natural evaporation and rainfall cycles to clean wastewater at factories and manufacturing facilities.

Reuters

Gradiant, an MIT startup, is using water technology to “help companies reduce water usage and clean up wastewater for reuse,” reports Simon Jessop for Reuters.

Financial Times

Prof. John Hart, co-founder of VulcanForms, speaks with Rana Foroohar at the Financial Times about the digital manufacturing company, which uses 3D printing with metals to create parts. “Everything we see around us, with the exception of ourselves and the food we grow, is manufactured,” says Hart. “Now, post-pandemic, several forces are aligning to reshape how we make things. We understand the need for agile supply chains. We realize how important production is for our economic and national security. And third, we need to decarbonize, which will require the growth of new manufacturing systems at scale.” 

Wired

Researchers at MIT have discovered what makes ancient Roman concrete “exponentially more durable than modern concrete,” reports Jim Morrison for Wired. “Creating a modern equivalent that lasts longer than existing materials could reduce climate emissions and become a key component of resilient infrastructure,” writes Morrison.

Scientific American

MIT researchers have discovered that ancient Romans used calcium-rich mineral deposits to build durable infrastructure, reports Daniel Cusick for Scientific American. This “discovery could have implications for reducing carbon emissions and creating modern climate-resilient infrastructure,” writes Cusick.

NPR

Prof. Admir Masic speaks with NPR host Scott Simon about the concrete blend used by the ancient Romans to build long standing infrastructures. “We found that there are key ingredients in ancient Roman concrete that lead to a really outstanding functionality property in the ancient mortar, which is self-healing,” explains Masic.

Reuters

Reuters reporter Will Dunham writes that a new study by MIT researchers uncovers the secret ingredient that made ancient Roman concrete so durable and could “pave the way for the modern use of a replicated version of this ancient marvel.” Prof. Admir Masic explains that the findings are “an important next step in improving the sustainability of modern concretes through a Roman-inspired strategy.”

CNN

MIT researchers have discovered that ancient Romans used lime clasts when manufacturing concrete, giving the material self-healing properties, reports Katie Hunt for CNN. "Concrete allowed the Romans to have an architectural revolution," explains Prof. Admir Masic. "Romans were able to create and turn the cities into something that is extraordinary and beautiful to live in. And that revolution basically changed completely the way humans live."

Science

Scientists from MIT and other institutions have uncovered an ingredient called quicklime used in ancient Roman techniques for manufacturing concrete that may have given the material self-healing properties, reports Jacklin Kwan for Science Magazine. When the researchers made their own Roman concrete and tested to see how it handled cracks, “the lime lumps dissolved and recrystallized, effectively filling in the cracks and keeping the concrete strong,” Kwan explains.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have found that a technique employed by ancient Romans for manufacturing concrete contains self-healing properties and could be used to help reduce concrete’s global carbon footprint. The ancient concrete method could open the “opportunity to build infrastructure that is self-healing infrastructure,” explains Prof. Admir Masic.

The Guardian

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found that using ancient Roman techniques for creating concrete could be used to create buildings with longer lifespans, reports Nicola Davis for The Guardian. “Roman-inspired approaches, based for example on hot mixing, might be a cost-effective way to make our infrastructure last longer through the self-healing mechanisms we illustrate in this study,” says Prof. Admir Masic.