News: Energy

Game-changing materials

Hear Professors Fikile Brushett, Elsa Olivetti, and Yogi Surendranath discuss building the next generation of materials for future energy systems.  

A new way to provide cooling without power

MIT researchers have devised a new way of providing cooling on a hot sunny day, using inexpensive materials and requiring no fossil fuel-generated power. The passive system, which could be used to supplement other cooling systems to preserve food and medications in hot, off-grid locations, is essentially a high-tech version of a parasol.  

A new concept for thermal energy storage

More than half of all the energy used to power mechanical, chemical, and other processes is expelled into the environment as heat. Power plants, car engines, and industrial processes, for example, produce vast amounts of heat but use a relatively small fraction of it to actually do work. And…  

Extending the life of low-cost, compact, lightweight batteries

Metal-air batteries are one of the lightest and most compact types of batteries available, but they can have a major limitation: When not in use, they degrade quickly, as corrosion eats away at their metal electrodes. Now, MIT researchers have found a way to substantially reduce that corrosion,…  

A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute

Brightly colored molecular models line two walls of Yet-Ming Chiang’s office at MIT. Chiang, a materials science professor and serial battery entrepreneur, has spent much of his career studying how slightly different arrangements of those sticks and spheres add up to radically different outcomes…  

Longer lasting storage needs cheaper chemistries

Energy storage is often mentioned as one of the remedies for California's duck curve problem, but the economics do not always work out. The technology is essential to a clean energy future, but it will be important to develop lower cost batteries with longer durations, according to…  

Sadoway on The Future of Battery Storage and Renewable Energies

"Recently I had the chance to speak with one of those visionaries: A scientist who has spent an entire career working on (and inventing) grid-level renewable energy storage mechanisms. Professor Donald Sadoway is a current MIT professor, an inventor with over a dozen patents, and a 2012 TIME “…  

Self-healing metal oxides could protect against corrosion

Researchers have found that a solid oxide protective coating for metals can, when applied in sufficiently thin layers, deform as if it were a liquid, filling any cracks and gaps as they form. The thin coating layer should be especially useful to prevent leakage of tiny molecules that can…  

A new way to find better battery materials

A new approach to analyzing and designing new ion conductors — a key component of rechargeable batteries — could accelerate the development of high-energy lithium batteries, and possibly other energy storage and delivery devices such as fuel cells, researchers say. The new approach relies…  

Investing in Tech That’s Worth the Wait

Innovations in fields like energy and transportation often take time—and extra support—to develop. The Engine at MIT is helping them make the leap from the lab to the marketplace. Liquid separation wouldn’t top most people’s lists of world-changing technologies. But consider this: every…  

A new approach to rechargeable batteries

A type of battery first invented nearly five decades ago could catapult to the forefront of energy storage technologies, thanks to a new finding by researchers at MIT. The battery, based on electrodes made of sodium and nickel chloride and using a new type of metal mesh membrane, could be used…