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NPR

Quaise Energy co-founder Carlos Araque BS ’01 MS ’02 speaks with Guy Raz, host of NPR’s How I Built This, about his time on the MIT Electric Vehicle Team, starting his company and the future of geothermal energy. “We would build these cars together, literally from scratch,“ said Araque about the EVT. "Very hands on, a lot of engineering went into that. And it [offered] very early experience with building things that work -- not only work, but work reliantly and consistently.”  

Marketplace

Prof. Christopher Knittel speaks with Andy Uhler of Marketplace about gasoline process and the crack spread, the difference between the cost of oil and the cost to refine it. “Increases in the crack spread that we’ve seen recently has been just supply and demand,” said Knittel.

The Conversation

Writing for The Conversation, John Reilly, co-director emeritus of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, outlines a roadmap for how the U.S. can meet the Biden administration’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions 50% by 2030 below 2005 levels. “By exploiting declining costs of zero- and low-carbon energy sources in a more aggressive and focused way, the U.S. can meet its target within eight years,” writes Reilly, “all while substantially reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, including high-priced gasoline, and cutting back the air pollution, climate and health impacts resulting from their combustion.”

AccuWeather

Prof. Desiree Plata speaks with AccuWeather senior on-air meteorologist Geoff Cornish about her research in using zeolite clay to control and remove methane emissions from the air.  “So, the really interesting thing about zeolite is it has these cool pore spaces so when you drop copper into those pore spaces it can grab onto a methane molecule and attach an oxygen atom to it and that helps convert that methane into carbon dioxide which is a much less potent greenhouse gas and so the net benefit to the climate can be quite dramatic,” explains Plata.

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have found that zeolite, a material used to soak up odors in kitty litter, can be used to grab methane out of the air, reports Angely Mercado for Gizmodo.  “Zeolite has tiny pores that act like sponge, and the clay is pretty multifunctional: It can help improve water retention in soil, and it’s found in natural kitty litter,” explains Mercado.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Ryan Dezember visited Prof. Desiree Plata’s lab to learn more about her group’s work developing a new tool to help address climate change. Plata and her colleagues “soaked an odor-eating clay used in cat boxes in a copper solution to create a compound that they say snatches methane from passing air and turns it into carbon dioxide, a much less harmful greenhouse gas.” The new technique has the “potential to greatly reduce the amount of methane in the atmosphere and slow warming temperatures on the planet.”

Los Angeles Times

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Prof. Simon Johnson and Łukasz Rachel, a research fellow at Princeton University, make the case for implementing a price cap on the cost of Russian oil. “This price cap scheme could run alongside the phase-in of a full EU embargo,” they write. “If the coalition involves non-EU countries, this arrangement will guarantee that Putin receives less money for his oil even after the EU ban kicks in.

CBS Boston

Gas prices in Massachusetts have been spiking since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports Kristina Rex for CBS Boston. “This is an artificially set price because OPEC controls how much oil they release,” says Prof. Jon Gruber. “[OPEC] like[s] the price going up, but if it goes up too much and people stop driving, it’s bad for them, so at some point they will release more oil and keep the price from going too high.”

Los Angeles Times

In an article for The Los Angeles Times, Prof. Simon Johnson and Oleg Ustenko, an economic advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, make the case that the U.S. needs to lead the way in cutting off oil and gas sales from Russia. “The financial sanctions already in place are important but, by themselves, they will not degrade Russian fossil fuel production capacity,” they write. “The critical issue now is to save Ukrainian lives by cutting off all possible revenue to the Russian state.”

Wired

Wired reporter Gregory Barber spotlights Prof. Desirée Plata’s work developing a new process for removing methane emissions using zeolite. Plata’s team is currently working on converting their system to a filter that air can be pushed through. “Plata wants to install the filters in places where methane is concentrated, but there’s not enough of it to burn,” Barber explains.

The Engineer

MIT researchers have developed an approach to control methane emissions by using zeolite clays with small amounts of copper, reports The Engineer. “The systems’ ideal location, the team concluded, would be in places with a concentrated source of methane such as dairy barns and coal mines,” according to The Engineer. “These already tend to have air-handling systems in place since a buildup of methane can be a safety hazard.”

Fast Company

MIT researchers have developed a new approach to removing methane emissions from the air using zeolite, an inexpensive material used in cat litter, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. Prof. Desiree Plata explains that compared to carbon dioxide, “methane is actually much worse, from a global warming perspective. What this allows us to do is bring immediate climate benefit into the Earth system and actually change global warming rates in our lifetime.”

Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter Will Mathis spotlights Osmoses, an MIT startup that has “created a membrane material thinner than human hair to reduce carbon emissions from industrial processes such as natural gas production.” CEO and postdoc Francesco Maria Benedetti explains that “we envision applying our technology to increase the sustainability of existing infrastructure."

The Indicator from Planet Money

Prof. Chris Knittel speaks with Stacey Vanek Smith on The Indicator from Planet Money podcast about the high price of oil and what that means for electric vehicles. “If everybody believed EVs were taking over next year, we would see oil prices tank now,” says Knittel. “The fact that they’re not tanking suggests that the markets think there’ll be sustained demand for oil for quite some time.”  

The Tech

MIT has announced a new climate action plan aimed at helping the Institute tackle climate change, reports Kristina Chen for The Tech. The plan offers increased opportunities for student involvement and a new organizational structure. Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, explains that MIT feels “that it’s our responsibility and duty to try to make a genuine difference, and to do that, we’re going to need the help of everyone in the community.”