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A new way of extracting copper

MIT researchers have identified the proper temperature and chemical mixture to selectively separate pure copper and other metallic trace elements from sulfur-based minerals using molten electrolysis. This one-step, environmentally friendly process simplifies metal production and eliminates the toxic byproducts such as sulfur dioxide. Postdoc Sulata K. Sahu and PhD student Brian J. Chmielowiec '12 decomposed sulfur-rich minerals into pure sulfur and extracted three different metals at very high purity: copper, …

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Scientists produce dialysis membrane made from graphene

Dialysis, in the most general sense, is the process by which molecules filter out of one solution, by diffusing through a membrane, into a more dilute solution. Outside of hemodialysis, which removes waste from blood, scientists use dialysis to purify drugs, remove residue from chemical solutions, and isolate molecules for medical diagnosis, typically by allowing the materials to pass through a porous membrane. Today's commercial dialysis membranes separate molecules slowly, in part due to their makeup: They are …

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Two MIT documentaries win New England Emmy Awards

On June 24, Boston-area journalists, videographers, and producers filled the halls of the Marriott Boston Copley Place for the 40th annual New England Emmy Awards. Staff from MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering (MechE) and MIT Video Productions (MVP) occupied two full tables at the black-tie affair. By the end of the night, two golden statues joined them as both groups were awarded Emmys. MechE's multimedia specialist John Freidah was honored with a New England Emmy in the Health/Science Program/Special category …

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New Leaf battery, Tesla Autopilot, BMW electric-car strategy, Pacific Hybrid recall: Today’s Car News

Today, we've got some auto-industry analysis on BMW's electric cars, two updates on recent stories, a look at Tesla's latest Autopilot, and a takedown of a bizarre Swedish study of the environmental impact of electric cars. All this and more on Green Car Reports. With the BMW i5 dedicated electric crossover now apparently dead, and an all-electric...

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MIT space hotel wins NASA graduate design competition

An interdisciplinary team of MIT graduate students representing five departments across the Institute was recently honored at NASA's Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage Design Competition Forum. The challenge involved designing a commercially enabled habitable module for use in low Earth orbit that would be extensible for future use as a Mars transit vehicle. The team's design won first place in the competition's graduate division. The MIT project — the Managed, Reconfigurable, In-space Nodal …

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New life for old Nissan Leaf electric car: battery replacement and what it took

The 2018 Nissan Leaf will likely be revealed within the next three months, but more than 100,000 older Leaf electric cars are still silently in use on U.S. roads. Some of them, especially the lowest-range cars from the two earliest model years (2011 and 2012), have started to see significant battery capacity degradation. That was the case with...

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The Rising Tide of Evidence Against Blaming Wind and Solar for Grid Instability

It's been more than two months since Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered the DOE to conduct a 60-day study on whether wind and solar are undercutting “baseload” coal and nuclear power -- a request that many renewable energy and environmental groups fear will lead to a foregone conclusion against

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More Than 250 US Mayors Commit To 100% Renewable Energy Amidst Adoption Of New Climate Resolution

More than 250 United States mayors have adopted a new bipartisan climate change resolution that includes a push for US cities to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2035, further widening the divide between US cities and their new Commander in Chief. More Than 250 US Mayors …

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GTM Predicts 27% Drop In Solar Prices By 2022

A new report from GTM Research has highlighted what is becoming an increasingly common refrain these days -- solar prices simply continue to fall, and they're not slowing down, either, with GTM predicting that average global solar project prices will decline 27% by GTM Predicts 27% Drop In Solar Prices By …

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Wave Power Could Contribute 10% Of Global Electricity Demand By 2050

A new report published Wednesday has advocated the potential for wave energy to contribute 10% of global electricity demand by 2050, and calls on industry to increase its global ambition to reach this goal. Wave Power Could Contribute 10% Of Global Electricity Demand By 2050 was …

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The Road To 100%: Meeting Hawaii’s Clean Energy Goals

Hawaii's clean energy goals are some of the most progressive in the country, and at the recent Verge Honolulu event, I got to listen to Governor David Ige explain how the state is meeting the target of 100% renewables by 2050. The Road To 100%: Meeting Hawaii's Clean Energy Goals was …

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School of Science professors granted tenure

The School of Science has announced that seven of its faculty members have been granted tenure by MIT. This year's newly-tenured professors are: Mircea Dincă, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, addresses research challenges related to the storage and consumption of energy and global environmental concerns through the synthesis and characterization of new inorganic and organic materials. His work has applications in …

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Navigant Research Identifies 1,842 Microgrid Projects Worldwide, Totaling Nearly 20 Gigawatts

In its latest report analyzing the global microgrid sector, Navigant Research has identified a total of 1,842 microgrid projects worldwide, totaling nearly 20 gigawatts in capacity. Navigant Research Identifies 1,842 Microgrid Projects Worldwide, Totaling Nearly 20 …

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Tesla Hardware 2: so what functions work in Autopilot and what don’t?

The expanded collection of sensors known as Hardware 2 continues to bring new and revamped features to the Tesla Model S and Model X electric cars. But how do the latest features offered by Autopilot stack up against those offered until last fall by the superseded Hardware 1 setup? One owner has gone through the trouble of laying everything out as...

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Bizarre Swedish study claims electric cars are worse for the environment

Electric vehicles shouldn't be considered all-out carbon footprint saviors, but they can legitimately be viewed as the great minimizers. The benefits of electric vehicles over those with internal-combustion engines are vast, but a strange new study is making rounds that claims electric cars are worse for climate-change emissions. The study...

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Electric BMW X3e to come in 2020, but BMW i5 defunct: what happened, and why?

Over the last two years, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have released severa; all-electric concept cars that are thinly disguised production models to arrive in 2018 and beyond. But electric-car pioneer BMW's plans are less clear. Its sole recent electric concept car was the iNext luxury sedan shown more than a year ago; it'll be a production model in...

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Tesla-Owned SolarCity Withdraws From South Carolina, Less Than a Year After Launch

The nation's largest residential solar installer is shutting down operations in South Carolina, roughly eight months after entering the state's burgeoning solar market. Tesla subsidiary SolarCity launched a new residential service in the Palmetto State last October, due in part to the introduction of a new solar loan product earlier in the year. The company hoped to hire around 100 new …

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Energy Storage Association Brings on New Leadership

The energy storage industry group has beefed up its leadership team as it prepares for a rapid scale-up of the companies it represents. The Energy Storage Association hired Kelly Speakes-Backman as its first CEO, starting July 1. Executive Director Matt Roberts is moving to a new role as vice president for external affairs, where he will focus on messaging and strategic planning. Nitzan Goldberger also joined the leadership team as state policy director, coming from the policy shop at Borrego Solar. The …