Better Batteries through Biology

BETTER BATTERIES THROUGH BIOLOGY?

Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years: They hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric cars with a much greater driving range. But bringing that promise to reality has faced a number of challenges, including the need to develop better, more More Info »

roplets being shed from a superhydrophobic surface (light band at center), revealed the charging of the droplets. Image: Nenad Miljkovic and Daniel Preston

DROPLETS GET A CHARGE OUT OF JUMPING

Condensation on a metal plate leads to formation of droplets that carry electric charge, could improve power-plant efficiency. CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In a completely unexpected finding, MIT researchers have discovered that tiny water droplets that form on a superhydrophobic surface, and then “jump” away from that surface, carry an electric charge. The finding could lead More Info »

MIT News Service

SOLAR-CELL MANUFACTURING COSTS: INNOVATION COULD LEVEL THE FIELD

Study shows that factors other than wages dominate trends in photovoltaic costs, raising the prospect of competitive manufacturing anywhere. It’s widely believed that China is the world’s dominant manufacturer of solar panels because of its low labor costs and strong government support. But a new study by researchers at MIT and the U.S. Department of More Info »

How to get fresh water out of thin air

HOW TO GET WATER OUT OF FRESH AIR

Fog-harvesting system developed by MIT and Chilean researchers could provide potable water for the world’s driest regions In some of this planet’s driest regions, where rainfall is rare or even nonexistent, a few specialized plants and insects have devised ingenious strategies to provide themselves with the water necessary for life: They pull it right out More Info »

WATER SHEDDING SURFACES CAN BE MADE TO LAST

New approach to hydrophobic material could benefit power plants, cooling systems. Steam condensation is key to the worldwide production of electricity and clean water: It is part of the power cycle that drives 85 percent of all electricity-generating plants and about half of all desalination plants globally, according to the United Nations and International Energy More Info »

IMAGE: NOAA

MIT: BIGGER STORMS AHEAD

With global warming, a study finds, tropical cyclones may become more frequent and intense. For the past 40 years — as far back as satellite records show — the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones has remained relatively stable: About 90 of these storms spin through the world each year, and over the decades, cyclones’ More Info »

Quest for a Better Light Bulb

MIT: Current theories about LED lighting wrong; Quest for a better light bulb

(The following story was written by David L. Chandler, and originally published by the MIT News Office.) Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) continue to transform technology, whether it’s through the high-resolution glow of flat-screen televisions or light bulbs that last for years. The high efficiency and versatility of LEDs make them increasingly popular, but their full potential More Info »

The carbon Footprint left by a pair of shoes

MIT: the carbon footprint left by a pair of Shoes

(The following article was written by Jennifer Chu and originally published by the MIT News Office)  A typical pair of running shoes generates 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to keeping a 100-watt light bulb on for one week, according to a new MIT-led lifecycle assessment. But what’s surprising to researchers isn’t the size of More Info »