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The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Prof. Christopher Knittel and graduate student Kailin Graham emphasize the importance of ensuring the transition away from fossil fuels is an equitable process that provides support for vulnerable workers. “If we’re serious about achieving a truly just transition, far more federal policy action is needed,” they write.

GBH

Former postdoc Leah Ellis speaks with GBH All Things Considered host Arun Rath about   Sublime Systems, an MIT startup she co-founded that aims to produce carbon-free cement to combat climate change. “Sublime Systems and this technology spun out of my postdoctoral work at MIT,” says Ellis. “My co-founder and I are both electric chemists, so we have experience with battery technologies and electrochemical systems. Our idea was thinking about how we might use renewable energy—which we know has become more abundant, inexpensive and available—to eliminate the CO2 emissions from cement.”

The New York Times

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have provided an analysis of the successes and shortcomings of President Biden’s climate bill, reports Brad Plumer for The New York Times. The report says “the biggest obstacles facing renewable electricity are logistical,” writes Plumer. “Wind and solar are facing lengthy waits to connect the nation’s clogged electric grids, and it can take a decade or more to get permits for new high-voltage transmission lines and build them.”

USA Today

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found that the “U.S. is generally heading in the right direction to achieve its energy goals to combat climate change, but it could still face headwinds due to siting and permitting delays, backlogged electric grid connection requests and supply chain challenges,” reports Elizabeth Weise for USA Today.

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.”

Environment+ Energy Leader

A study by MIT researchers has uncovered an, “intricate relationship between jobs and the nation’s energy transition,” reports Kaleigh Harrison for Environment + Energy Leader. The study, “presents an unprecedented county-level examination of the U.S., identifying regions most intertwined with fossil fuels – ranging from intensive drilling and mining operations to heavy manufacturing sectors,” writes Harrison. “The findings underscore not only the expected impact on traditional energy bastions but also highlight the broader, often overlooked, implications for areas heavily invested in manufacturing.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new map detailing how the shift to clean energy could impact jobs around the country. The researchers found that workers could be most impacted in areas that drill for oil and gas, as well as “regions with a high concentration of manufacturing, agriculture, and construction—all industries that rely heavily on coal, oil, and gas.” 

The Boston Globe

A more than $40 million investment to add advanced nano-fabrication equipment and capabilities to MIT.nano will significantly expand the center’s nanofabrication capabilities, reports Jon Chesto for The Boston Globe. The new equipment, which will also be available to scientists outside MIT, will allow “startups and students access to wafer-making equipment used by larger companies. These tools will allow its researchers to make prototypes of an array of microelectronic devices.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. John Sterman speaks with Boston Globe reporter Alexa Coultoff about his experience retrofitting his home to achieve a fully net-zero house. “Sterman said he asked himself what actions would have the biggest payoff and went from there,” writes Coultoff. “For example, his home’s original windows from the 1920s were in rough shape, so he decided to tighten the building’s envelope, resulting in wider windowsills, where, added bonus, he can now display a robust plant collection.”

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. 

Newsweek

Prof. Jessika Trancik writes for Newsweek about the importance of government policy in supporting the transition to electric vehicles. “Policy is needed to make EVs widely accessible to people while the technology and markets continue to mature,” writes Trancik, “and to ensure the process moves quickly enough to help slow the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

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.”

GBH

Robert Stoner, interim director of the MIT Energy Initiative, speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude to discuss the climate crisis and some solutions being developed at MIT. "You have to be [optimistic]," says Stoner. "I do feel there are technological pathways that we can go down and get there. Solar and wind and storage get us an awful long way. We have to make these things cheaper, and there are an awful lot of people at MIT and at other great universities, and many companies, hammering away at those problems."

ClimateWire

ClimateWire reporter John Fialka writes that MIT engineers have developed a new process to convert carbon dioxide into a powder that can be safely stored for decades. “The MIT process gets closer to an ambitious dream: turning captured CO2 into a feedstock for clean fuel that replaces conventional batteries and stores electricity for months or years,” writes Fialka. “That could fill gaps in the nation's power grids as they transition from fossil fuels to intermittent solar and wind energy.”

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.