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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.

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 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.”

Popular Science

Carlos Casanovas MS ’14 co-founded X1 Wind, a startup that has developed a floating wind turbine prototype, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “Floating wind is set to play a vital role supporting the future energy transition, global decarbonization and ambitious net-zero targets,” says Casanovas.

The Verge

The Verge reporter Justine Calma writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that while wind energy has measurably improved air quality, only 32% of those benefits reached low-income communities. “The research shows that to squeeze out the greatest health benefits, wind farms need to intentionally replace coal and gas power plants,” writes Calma. “And to clean up the most polluted places — particularly those with more residents of color and low-income households — those communities need to be in focus when deploying new renewable energy projects.”

HealthDay News

A new study by MIT researchers finds that increased usage of wind power is improving air quality in parts of the U.S., however only a third of the health benefits are being seen in disadvantaged communities, reports Alan Mozes for HealthDay. "Going forward," explains Prof. Noelle Selin, "more targeted policies are needed to reduce the disparities at the same time, for example by directly targeting [fossil fuel] sources that influence certain marginalized communities."

The Hill

Increased usage of wind energy has led to health benefits, but does not affect all communities equally, reports Saul Elbein for The Hill. The researchers found that in order to increase the benefits of wind energy, “the electricity industry would have to spin down the most polluting plants at times of high wind-supply — rather than their most expensive ones,” writes Elbein.

Wired

Research led by Prof. Michael Howland has found that adjusting the orientation of wind turbines on a farm can reduce the wake effect and boost the total output, reports Maria Perez Ortiz for Wired. “Howland and his team’s algorithm first uses atmospheric physics and operational farm data—such as temperature and wind conditions—to estimate the wakes that turbines are creating and how these are impacting other turbines,” writes Ortiz. 

E&E News

Prof. Michael Howland speaks with Camille Bond at E&E News about his research, which suggests that finding the ideal position for individual wind turbines could increase the overall efficiency of the entire wind farm. “If we're expanding wind energy quite substantially, it's important that we design the wind farms in the best way and we control them in the best way to achieve that goal,” said Howland.

Boston.com

MIT scientists have discovered a new method to maximize wind farm output, reports Gwen Egan for Boston.com. “While there are pros and cons to this strategy, it’s possible that it could allow for smaller wind farms that take up less land to produce more energy,” says Prof. Michael Howland. “It’s critically important we do this now, as we embark on building much more offshore wind. We need to ensure that our future wind farms maximize efficiency to increase the pace of decarbonization.”

The Boston Globe

MIT scientists have found that changing the angle of turbine blades on wind farms could increase energy output, reports David Abel for The Boston Globe. “Given the scale of wind deployment needed to achieve state and federal climate goals, we need optimal wind farm performance to ensure efficient, rapid decarbonization,” says Prof. Michael Howland. “Our method resulted in significant energy gains over standard industry operations, and, importantly, it can be instituted with minimal cost.”