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Category: Sustainability

Pricing carbon, valuing people
January 12, 2022

In November, inflation hit a 39-year high in the United States. The consumer price index was up 6.8 percent from the previous year due to major increases in the cost of rent, food, motor vehicles, gasoline, and other common household expenses. While inflation impacts the entire country, its effects are not felt equally. At greatest risk are low- and middle-income Americans who may lack sufficient financial reserves to absorb such economic...

A dirt cheap solution? Common clay materials may help curb methane emissions | MIT News
January 10, 2022

Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and it has a pronounced effect within first two decades of its presence in the atmosphere. In the recent international climate negotiations in Glasgow, abatement of methane emissions was identified as a major priority in attempts to curb global climate change quickly. Now, a team of researchers at MIT has come up with a promising approach to controlling...

MIT students explore food sustainability | MIT News
January 6, 2022

As students approached the homestretch of the fall semester, many were focused on completing final projects and preparing for exams. During this time of year, some students may neglect their well-being to the point of skipping meals. To help alleviate end-of-term stress and to give students a delicious study break, the Food Security Action Team recently offered a group of first-year students the opportunity to join a food...

Seeing the plasma edge of fusion experiments in new ways with artificial intelligence | MIT News
January 5, 2022

To make fusion energy a viable resource for the world’s energy grid, researchers need to understand the turbulent motion of plasmas: a mix of ions and electrons swirling around in reactor vessels. The plasma particles, following magnetic field lines in toroidal chambers known as tokamaks, must be confined long enough for fusion devices to produce significant gains in net energy, a challenge when the hot edge of the...

Reducing food waste to increase access to affordable foods | MIT News
January 5, 2022

energy, and fertilizer that went into growing, processing, and distributing the food is wasted. On the other end of the supply chain are cash-strapped consumers, who have been further distressed in recent years by factors like the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation. Spoiler Alert, a company founded by two MIT alumni, is helping companies bridge the gap between food waste and food insecurity with a platform connecting...

Selective separation could help alleviate critical metals shortage | MIT News
December 18, 2021

New processing methods developed by MIT researchers could help ease looming shortages of the essential metals that power everything from phones to automotive batteries, by making it easier to separate these rare metals from mining ores and recycled materials. Selective adjustments within a chemical process called sulfidation allowed professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore and his graduate student Caspar Stinn to...

Expanding the conversation about sustainability | MIT News
December 17, 2021

Stacy Godfreey-Igwe sat in her dorm room at MIT, staring frantically at her phone. An unprecedented snowstorm had hit her hometown of Richardson, Texas, and she was having difficulty contacting her family. She felt worried and frustrated, aware that nearby neighborhoods hadn’t lost power during the storm but that her family home had suffered significant damage. She finally got a hold of her parents, who had taken refuge...

Q&A: Can the world change course on climate? | MIT News
December 13, 2021

In this ongoing series on climate issues, MIT faculty, students, and alumni in the humanistic fields share perspectives that are significant for solving climate change and mitigating its myriad social and ecological impacts. Nazli Choucri is a professor of political science and an expert on climate issues, who also focuses on international relations and cyberpolitics. She is the architect and director of the Global System...

A tool to speed development of new solar cells | MIT News
December 9, 2021

In the ongoing race to develop ever-better materials and configurations for solar cells, there are many variables that can be adjusted to try to improve performance, including material type, thickness, and geometric arrangement. Developing new solar cells has generally been a tedious process of making small changes to one of these parameters at a time. While computational simulators have made it possible to evaluate such...

“Vigilant inclusion” central to combating climate change | MIT News
December 8, 2021

“To turbocharge work on saving the planet, we need effective, innovative, localized solutions, and diverse perspectives and experience at the table,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, the keynote speaker at the 10th annual U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Women in Clean Energy Symposium and Awards. This event, convened virtually over Nov. 3-4 and engaging more than 1,000...

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