MIT researchers boost efficiency of carbon capture and conversion systems

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Researchers at MIT have developed a method that could significantly boost the performance of carbon capture and conversion systems that use catalytic surfaces to enhance the rates of carbon-sequestering electrochemical reactions.

MIT team reexamines rates of Li-ion cost decline

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Now, MIT researchers have carried out an exhaustive analysis of the studies that have looked at the decline in the prices these batteries.

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New MIT algorithm helps AI systems dodge adversarial inputs; CARRL

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A new deep-learning algorithm developed by MIT researchers is designed to help machines navigate in the real, imperfect world by building a healthy “skepticism” of the measurements and inputs they receive. —Michael Everett, lead author and a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro). This research was supported, in part, by Ford Motor Company as part of the Ford-MIT Alliance.

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MIT electrolyte enables ultra-high voltage Ni-rich cathodes in Li-metal batteries

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MIT researchers and colleagues at two national laboratories have developed a sulfonamide-based electrolyte that enables stable cycling of a commercial LiNi 0.8

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MIT, NASA engineers develop morphing wing

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The new wing design was tested in a NASA wind tunnel and is described in a paper in the journal Smart Materials and Structures , co-authored by research engineer Nicholas Cramer at NASA Ames in California; MIT alumnus Kenneth Cheung SM ’07 PhD ’12, now at NASA Ames; Benjamin Jenett, a graduate student in MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms; and eight others. A team of engineers has built and tested a radically new kind of airplane wing, assembled from hundreds of tiny identical pieces.

2019 286

MIT study finds Uber & Lyft increase congestion, decrease transit ridership and don’t affect vehicle ownership

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Researchers at MIT report that the entrance of transportation network companies (TNCs)—specifically Uber and Lyft, which together have a 98% share of the market—in cities led to increased road congestion in terms of both intensity (by 0.9%) and duration (by 4.5%); an 8.9% Unlike previous studies that focused only on Uber, the dataset developed by the MIT team allowed them to take both Uber and Lyft into account.

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MIT study finds stiffer roadways could improve truck fuel efficiency

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Now, a study by MIT researchers suggests that small changes in roadway paving practices could reduce that efficiency loss, at little to no cost.

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MIT team proposes SCR emission control for hybrid aviation turbines; reducing NOx by 95%

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Now, MIT engineers are proposing using an ammonia-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that could result in an approximately 95% reduction in NO x emissions in exchange for a ~0.5% —Steven Barrett, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT and corresponding author. The paper’s co-authors are Prakash Prashanth, Raymond Speth, Sebastian Eastham, and Jayant Sabnins, all members of MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment.

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SLAC, MIT, TRI researchers advance machine learning to accelerate battery development; insights on fast-charging

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Hongbo Zhao/MIT). Scientists have made a major advance in harnessing machine learning to accelerate the design for better batteries. Instead of using machine learning just to speed up scientific analysis by looking for patterns in data—as typically done—the researchers combined it with knowledge gained from experiments and equations guided by physics to discover and explain a process that shortens the lifetimes of fast-charging lithium-ion batteries.

MIT study measures which kinds of infrastructure improvements could get more electric cars on the road

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A new study from researchers at MIT uncovers the kinds of infrastructure improvements that would make the biggest difference in increasing the number of electric cars on the road, a key step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

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MIT system trains driverless cars using reinforcement learning with data-driven simulation

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A data-driven simulation system invented at MIT, in collaboration with the Toyota Research Institute, to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.

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MIT’s fleet of autonomous boats can now shapeshift

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MIT’s fleet of autonomous boats ( earlier post ) has been updated with new capabilities to “shapeshift,” by autonomously disconnecting and reassembling into a variety of configurations, to form floating structures in Amsterdam’s many canals. The project is led by MIT professors Carlo Ratti, Daniela Rus, Dennis Frenchman, and Andrew Whittle. In 2016, MIT researchers tested a roboat prototype that could move forward, backward, and laterally along a preprogrammed path in the canals.

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MIT researchers use neural networks to speed materials design; 5 weeks vs 50 years for flow battery proof-of-concept

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Now, researchers at MIT have found a way to streamline the discovery process using a machine learning system. MIT professor of chemical engineering Heather Kulik says they “are really fascinating, functional materials that are unlike a lot of other material phases.

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MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future suggests widespread autonomous driving at least a decade away

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The MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future has released a new research brief examining the future of autonomous vehicles. The brief is part of a series of subject-specific research projects by MIT faculty that will help frame national discussion and policies about work, technology, and how we can create greater shared prosperity in the country.

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MIT study: half of US deaths related to air pollution are linked to out-of-state emissions

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More than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur, MIT researchers report in a paper in the journal Nature.

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VW diesel cheating produced 1,200 premature deaths: MIT study

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TDI VW health MIT air pollution Volkswagen diesel scandalIn September 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed Volkswagen's use of illegal "defeat device" software in its diesel cars. The software routines allowed cars to pass emissions tests while still producing up to 35 times the legal limits of nitrogen oxides in real-world driving, setting off a scandal that is still being dealt.

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MIT team develops data-driven safety envelope for lithium-ion batteries for EVs

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Researchers at MIT, with a colleague from Tsinghua University, have developed a safety envelope for Li-ion batteries in electric vehicles by using a high accuracy finite element model of a pouch cell to produce more than 2,500 simulations and subsequently analyzing the data with Machine Learning (ML) algorithms.

2019 271

MIT, QCRI use AI to enrich digital maps to improve GPS navigation; RoadTagger

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A model developed by Researchers at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) have developed a model that uses satellite imagery to tag road features in digital maps to help improve GPS navigation.

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MIT and Lamborghini file patent on new MOF material for supercapacitors

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The collaboration began three years ago when Automobili Lamborghini joined the MIT-Italy Program, and took a further step forward in 2017 with the launch of two research projects, one with Professor Mircea Dinc? MIT - Department of Chemistry), and the other with Professor John Anastasios Hart (MIT - Department of Mechanical Engineering), focused on battery materials. At MIT, the Dinc?

2019 190

MIT engineers develop efficient means of carbon capture using electrochemical cell

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Researchers at MIT have developed a new, efficient way to capture carbon that addresses the inherent inefficiencies ( earlier post ) of incumbent technologies, due to their thermal energy losses, large footprint or degradation of sorbent material. The binary nature of the adsorbent’s affinity to carbon dioxide is the greatest advantage of this technology over most other carbon capture or carbon absorbing technologies, said MIT postdoc Sahag Voskian, who developed the work during his PhD.

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MIT proof-of-concept demo of ionic wind propulsion for aircraft

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MIT researchers have demonstrated that an aircraft with a 5-meter wingspan can sustain steady-level flight using ionic-wind propulsion. Corresponding author Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, noted that his team’s study marked the first sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system. The MIT team’s final design resembles a large, lightweight glider.

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MIT researchers develop method to make smaller, safer, and faster lithium-rich ceramic electrolyte

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Researchers at MIT have devised a new pulsed laser deposition technique to make thinner lithium electrolytes using less heat, promising faster charging and potentially higher-voltage solid-state lithium ion batteries. —MIT Associate Professor Jennifer Rupp, senior author. MIT and ETH have jointly filed for two patents on the multi-layer lithium garnet/lithium nitride processing.

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MIT team finds aviation emissions’ impacts on air quality larger than on climate

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Researchers at MIT have determined that growth in aviation causes twice as much damage to air quality as to the climate. —lead researcher Dr Sebastian Eastham, from the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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MIT: hybrid cathodes could boost energy capacity of lithium-sulfur batteries

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Researchers at MIT and in China are proposing a new class of dense intercalation-conversion hybrid cathodes by combining intercalation-type Mo 6 S 8 with conversion-type sulfur (HMSC) to realize a Li–S full cell. The work was supported by the Samsung Advanced institute of Technology, the National Key Technologies R&D Program of China, the National Science Foundation of China, and MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

MIT, Stanford and Toyota Research Institute use AI to predict accurately the useful life of batteries

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Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) have discovered that combining comprehensive experimental data and artificial intelligence provide the key for accurately predicting the useful life of lithium-ion batteries before their capacities started to wane. MIT’s team, led by Richard Braatz, professor in Chemical Engineering, performed the machine learning work.

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MIT team proposes ARC fusion reactor: affordable, robust, compact

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Advances in magnet technology have enabled researchers at MIT to propose a new design for a practical compact tokamak fusion reactor that might be realized in as little as a decade: the ARC (affordable, robust, compact) reactor. The basic reactor concept and its associated elements are based on well-tested and proven principles developed over decades of research at MIT and around the world, the team says.

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MIT team develops new lane-change algorithm for autonomous cars

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At the IEEE 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are presenting a new lane-change algorithm that splits the difference. With the MIT researchers’ system, if the default buffer zones are leading to performance that’s far worse than a human driver’s, the system will compute new buffer zones on the fly—complete with proof of collision avoidance.

2018 174

MIT researchers developing LiDAR on a chip

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Researchers at MIT’s Photonic Microsystems Group are developing a LiDAR-on-a-chip system that is smaller than a dime, has no moving parts, and could be mass produced at a very low cost to be used in self-driving cars, drones, and robots. Our work at MIT’s Photonic Microsystems Group is trying to take these large, expensive, mechanical LiDAR systems and integrate them on a microchip that can be mass produced in commercial CMOS foundries.

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MIT team proposes flex-fuel gasoline-alcohol engine PHEV long-haul trucks

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In a paper being presented at WCX SAE World Congress Experience in Detroit this week, a team from MIT is proposing the use of a flex-fuel gasoline-alcohol engine approach for a series-hybrid powertrain for long-haul Class 8 trucks. The new concept was developed by MIT Energy Initiative and Plasma Fusion and Science Center research scientist Daniel Cohn and principal research engineer Leslie Bromberg. The research was supported by the MIT Arthur Samberg Energy Innovation Fund.

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MIT autonomous boats can target and latch onto each other: dynamic roboat structures

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To further that vision, MIT researchers have given new capabilities to their fleet of robotic boats—which are being developed as part of an ongoing project—that lets them target and clasp onto each other, and keep trying if they fail. Several years ago, MIT and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) teamed up on the “ Roboat ” project.

2019 195

Electric-car range anxiety exists, but it's overblown, says MIT study

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Study MIT plug-in cars range anxietyRange anxiety, the persistent worry about not having enough battery range to finish a journey, remains one of the major obstacles to widespread electric-car adoption. Many electric cars still have shorter ranges than comparable internal-combustion models, and that continues to spook some consumers. But could those concerns be overblown? DON'T.

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MIT, NASA, ORNL team developing “neutron microscope”

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Researchers at MIT, working with partners at NASA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have developed a new concept for a “neutron microscope”—a compact focusing-mirror-based small-angle neutron scattering instrument—that would use neutrons instead of beams of light or electrons to create high-resolution images.

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MIT researchers pursuing increasing human-vehicle collaboration

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Researchers at MIT are developing systems that could allow humans, robots and other autonomous vehicles to collaborate on everything from navigation to trip planning, and eventually pave the way for the operation of personal aircraft and driverless cars.

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Audi and MIT develop Road Frustration Index

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Driving in chaotic urban traffic can be as nearly as stressful as jumping out of an airplane, according to new findings from an Audi and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study. To better understand the impact road frustrations have on motorists today, Audi joined forces with the MIT SENSEable City Laboratory to explore a wide range of measurements aimed at quantifying driver stress on the road today. —Kael Greco, project leader, MIT SENSEable City Laboratory.

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MIT team engineers yeast to boost lipid production for biofuels

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MIT engineers have genetically engineered strains of the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to boost the production of lipids by about 25% compared to previously engineered yeast strains. A paper on their work is published in the journal Nature Biotechnology ; the MIT team, led by Gregory Stephanopoulos, the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at MIT, is now working on additional improvements to the lipids yield.

2017 170

MIT, Toyota researchers develop new model for better autonomous reasoning at tricky intersections

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MIT and Toyota researchers have designed a new model to help autonomous vehicles determine when it’s safe to merge into traffic at intersections with obstructed views. —Daniela Rus, director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

2019 163

ExxonMobil expands participation in MIT Energy Initiative’s low-carbon research; Mobility of Future study

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ExxonMobil said extended its support of the MIT Energy Initiative’s (MITEI) low-carbon energy research and education mission by renewing its status as a founding member for another five years. ExxonMobil first signed on as a member of the initiative in 2014. With its renewed membership, ExxonMobil will expand its participation in MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers. The company will: Extend its membership in MITEI’s Center for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage.

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DOE awards MIT researchers $1.9M to advance electrolytic production of copper; direct production of copper wire

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded MIT associate professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore a $1.9-million grant to run larger scale tests of a new one-step, molten electrolysis process ( earlier post ) to produce copper from sulfur-based minerals—the main source of copper. The MIT molten sulfide electrolysis process eliminates sulfur dioxide, a noxious byproduct of traditional copper extraction methods, instead producing pure elemental sulfur.

2018 195

MIT, GE, Audi launch HubCab Project in New York City

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MIT, in partnership with Audi and GE, has launched HubCab —a transportation tracking tool aimed at reducing commuting congestion, decreasing vehicle emissions and lowering the cost of mobility infrastructure. MIT researchers say HubCab technology could not only save people money and time, but allow users to better plan their taxi rides around the city, potentially reducing the number of trips by 40%.

MIT and Saudi Aramco augment existing collaboration; more energy research

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MIT President Susan Hockfield and Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, providing a framework that will greatly expand the research and education partnership between MIT and Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco has agreed to become a Founding Member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), raising its participation from its current Sustaining Membership.

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MIT, Ford researchers find lightweight conventional vehicles could have lower lifecycle GHG impact than EVs depending upon location

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Researchers at MIT and the Ford Motor Company have found that depending on the location, lightweight conventional vehicles could have a lower lifecycle greenhouse gas impact than electric vehicles, at least in the near term. The biggest factor leading to that conclusion was the mix of generating sources going into the grid in different regions, said MIT Principal Research Scientist Randolph Kirchain.

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MIT engineers develop system to help autonomous vehicles see around corners; adapting ShadowCam

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To improve the safety of autonomous systems, MIT engineers have developed a system that can sense tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if there’s a moving object coming around the corner. MIT professors William Freeman and Antonio Torralba, who are not co-authors on the IROS paper, collaborated on the earlier versions of the system, which were presented at conferences in 2017 and 2018.

2019 150

MIT team devises technique to observe hydrogen’s penetration in metal surfaces; understanding embrittlement

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Researchers at MIT have created a new technique that allows the observation of a metal surface during hydrogen penetration—the process that results in embrittlement of the metal. The new way of observing the embrittlement process as it happens may help to reveal how the embrittlement gets triggered, and it may suggest ways of slowing the process—or of avoiding it by designing alloys that are less vulnerable to embrittlement.

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