MIT chemist Daniel Nocera has unveiled details about his long-awaited “artificial leaf” invention, a small solar cell that mimics photosynthesis and has the potential to produce low-cost electricity for individual homes — an advance that could be particularly valuable in the developing world, where many people lack electricity.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) report that they have used carbon nanotubes to concentrate solar energy 100 times more efficiently than regular photovoltaic cells. The researchers, reporting in the journal Nature Materials, said that the nanotubes — hollow tubes of carbon atoms — could form antennas that effectively capture and focus light energy,
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have developed a positive electrode made of carbon nanotubes that enables lithium-ion batteries to deliver ten times more power than a conventional battery.
If produced on an industrial scale, these carbon nanotube electrodes could significantly extend the range of electric vehicles, the MIT scientists say.
Reporting in the journal, Nature Nanotechnology, the MIT researchers write that the secret to their technology is that their carbon nanotubes contain a very high surface area for storing and reacting with lithium.
A NASA-sponsored competition to design futuristic, fuel-efficient airplanes has led to a jet prototype that would burn roughly 70 percent less fuel than current aircraft.
Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed what they called a D-series “double bubble” jet, which features a wide fuselage composed of two partial cylinders fused together in an aerodynamic shape.
The prototype also has a smaller tail, skinnier wings, and engines mounted on the rear of the fuselage instead of the wings, which allows the engines to suck in slower-moving air and increase efficiency.
Wind energy has been a fast growing sector of the overall energy market. It is renewable energy that can be produced on an industrial scale that can rival the older established energy sources of coal, gas, oil, hydro, and nuclear.
Now, it accounts for only two percent of the whole energy market, but government officials expect wind to produce one fifth of the total electricity supply in the United States by 2030. Proponents claim wind power can reduce the threat of global warming.
However, a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that the opposite is true. Mass produced wind farms can actually affect climate in a negative way.
A group of recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates has developed a roof tile that remains white in summer to reflect the sun’s energy then turns black in winter to absorb the sun’s rays and heat buildings.
The so-called “thermeleon” (rhymes with chameleon) technology uses a common commercial polymer trapped between layers of plastic, including a black layer at the back. When the temperature drops, the white layer disappears, exposing the black layer.
The MIT graduates say the tiles reflect about 80 percent of the sun’s heat when they are white, translating into a 20 percent savings in cooling costs. When the tiles turn dark, they absorb about 70 percent of solar energy.
Deutsche Bank has erected a seven-story sign in the heart of New York City that ticks off the tons of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere — a public relations move designed to raise awareness of global warming.
Designed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and hanging outside Madison Square Garden, the giant counter shows that the amount of carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere is at 3.64 trillion metric tons, the highest level in 800,000 years. Number whirring on the counter show that CO2 is being added to the atmosphere at the rate of 800 tons per second.
Unveiling the sign, Deutsche Bank officials said it was designed to highlight the crisis of global warming and the urgency of reducing CO2 emissions. “The minute you convert that (carbon) to a real-time number, it can serve as a backdrop to a lot of conversations,” said one Deutsche bank executive.
Do yourself a favor by visiting NPR.org and downloading the first hour of the last Science Friday. A really intelligent discussion of the future of nuclear energy in the US ranged from the waste storage issue to microreactor technology to financing.
Even the geekiest of Green Nerds probably needs some time away from green tech talk a few minutes a day, especially with all the slop that is bombarding us these days at checkout counters, in brand campaigns and on the nightly news. So, I know the last thing you want to do is head out for that morning run, pop in the ear buds and have a clean tech podcast as your accompaniment; but, the conversation here – which included an MIT Prof and former DOE Under Secretary (Moniz), a NRDC egghead (Cochran) and a scientist – is worth your time.
If you’re looking for Clean Tech events, check out the CleanTechies Calendar with hundreds of events and conferences all around the world – from renewable energy to green building to electric vehicles. If you’re looking for something to do this evening – and you happen to be close to Mountain View – I suggest, you attend “Starting a Cleantech Business” – an event organized by the MIT Club and the HBS Association of Northern California. Even if you’re not interested in starting your own business, you might still want to hear the panelists speak: Matt Goldman, Co-founder and President Sustainable Spaces, Alex Kinnier, Partner at Khosla Ventures, Deborah Magid, Director, Software Strategy, IBM Venture Capital Group, and Scott Newcomb, CEO Virgance. They will highlight pathways into new clean tech careers, explain how to start new clean tech businesses and explore the trends and best practices in transitioning to green business operations.
Happy Earth Day… I hope you rode your bike to work, ate only vegetables, brought your own cup to Starbucks and followed the instructions in the signature line of your boss’ email and didn’t print it unless it was truly necessary.
If you are new around here – I was a Marine officer before running off to Europe for grad school and dedicating my professional life to sustainability. One of my happiest associations is with that group of men and women (the Marine Corps), and I can continue to do so through the Marines’ Memorial Association here in San Francisco. I’m very happy to support bringing relevant discussions to this venue that satisfy both my interests (likely yours if you are on this site) and that organization’s values, so if you have some ideas that need a venue and a good audience, please send me a note and we can chat about putting events together.
That said, next week you might want to mark your calendar for an event there and another fantastic event down the street at the Hotel Nikko.
45 minutes of engaging discourse – last night Van Jones, president and founder of “Green For All”, had his audience, made up largely of members of the greater Berkeley community, enthralled. In an age of public relations, spin and hype we had before us one of the rare respites of integrity, in a man that gets the (positive) credit he deserves. If you’ve not yet heard him speak, check out the clip below, you will hear a very compelling and articulate argument to invest in our capacity by developing our workforce.
As I looked around the room there were students, faculty, venture capitalists, social workers, community activists, environmentalists, non-profit organizers and reporters; Van can bring people together like no other, but being on a university campus brought an even more diverse group of people to the event. I thought back to the countless symposiums (symposia?) I have been to over the years – without fail it has been those organized by the universities have brought the most diverse audiences of participants together – and in that mix, the magic of cross pollination happens.