MIT battery that inhales and exhales air can store power for months

October 12, 2017 by  
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Could this air-breathing battery help solve energy storage woes? 10 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers developed the battery capable of storing electricity for months for around one fifth of the cost of comparable technologies. MIT professor Yet-Ming Chiang said, “This battery literally inhales and exhales air , but it doesn’t exhale carbon dioxide , like humans – it exhales oxygen .” MIT says their air-breathing battery could help renewable energy , like solar and wind, be more practicable for the grid . Their rechargeable flow battery costs a fraction of current technology, and can store power for long periods of time, with zero emissions and few location restraints. Related: Former Tesla executives to produce battery “with significantly lower carbon footprint” Sulfur dissolved in water comprises the battery’s liquid anode. What MIT described as an aerated liquid salt solution in the liquid cathode brings in and lets out oxygen. According to the institute, “Oxygen flowing into the cathode causes the anode to discharge electrons to an external circuit. Oxygen flowing out sends electrons back to the anode, recharging the battery.” The cost of the anode, cathode, and electrode materials in the battery is around 1/30 that of lithium-ion batteries , according to MIT. If the battery system was scaled up, it could store electricity for around $20 to $30 per kilowatt-hour – compare that against today’s batteries, which are around $100 per kilowatt-hour, at least. Right now, the prototype is about as big as a coffee cup. But Chiang said flow batteries are highly scalable. This new technology could compete with pumped hydroelectric storage systems, though, since the MIT system is more compact, it could be deployed in more locations where renewable energy is being generated. As solar and wind energy production can be intermittent, the battery could store the energy they generate to offer a reliable source of power. The journal Joule published the research this week. Via MIT News Images courtesy of the researchers and Felice Frankel

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MIT battery that inhales and exhales air can store power for months

World’s first commercial carbon-sucking plant goes live in Zurich

May 31, 2017 by  
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Carbon capture is essential to the fight against climate change and keeping temperatures below a two-degree-Celsius increase, according to Swiss-based Climeworks . For a few years now they’ve been working on technology to suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and sell it to agriculture or energy industries for reuse. And now they’ve finally switched on the final product – the world’s first Direct Air Capture (DAC) commercial plant on top of a waste recovery facility in Zurich, Switzerland . Atop a municipal-run waste incineration facility in Zurich, Climeworks installed their DAC plant, which is comprised of three stacked shipping containers with six carbon collectors. Fans suck ambient air into the collectors, and a filter takes in CO2. Waste heat will power the groundbreaking plant. Climeworks will send the captured CO2 to a greenhouse – every single year they’ll be able to supply 900 metric tons. They’ll be able to continuously supply the CO2 to the greenhouse via an underground pipeline. Related: The world’s first carbon capture plant can convert CO2 into usable energy In a statement, managing director and co-founder Christoph Gebald said, “Highly scalable negative emission technologies are crucial if we are to stay below the two degree target of the international community.” And the CO2 won’t go to waste. Greenhouses aren’t the only entities that can utilize CO2; it could carbonate drinks or become carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuel. The automotive and food industries could benefit from the CO2 Climeworks captures. Their ultimate goal is to capture one percent of all carbon emissions in the world by 2025. To do that, co-founder and director Jan Wurzbacher estimates they’ll need to install 750,000 shipping containers filled with their C02 collectors. He says that is the same amount of shipping containers that pass through the harbor in Shanghai during a two week period, so it’s a target the global economy could handle. Climeworks says their modular plants could be deployed just about anywhere. + Climeworks Via Climeworks and Fast Company Images via screenshot and Climeworks Facebook

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World’s first commercial carbon-sucking plant goes live in Zurich

White House official says Trump is pulling out of the Paris Agreement

May 31, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump is set to withdraw from the historic 2015 Paris Agreement , according to several news outlets. It appears he’ll stick with his ill-advised campaign promise after all, and favor nationalist voices like that of Steve Bannon against the more moderate tones of his daughter Ivanka Trump. Even oil and gas companies like Shell and ExxonMobil called for America to stay in the deal. The move will likely mean the United States loses their footing as a global leader in the fight against climate change – but that’s not the worst of it. At a moment when decisive action against climate change has never been more crucial, the leader of one of the planet’s most influential countries could yank the nation out of the hard-fought, historic Paris deal praised as a victory for the entire world. Axios reported according to “two sources with direct knowledge of the decision,” Trump will withdraw from the agreement. That report is backed up by other news outlets such as Politico, which spoke with whom they referred to as a White House official. Related: G7 leaders openly say climate change consensus does not include US On Trump’s recent trip abroad, numerous world leaders and Pope Francis entreated the United States to stay in the deal. Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also wanted America to stay on board with the deal. Axios reports 22 Republican Senators wrote a letter, however, that helped sway Trump’s mind against the accord. Supposedly for the past week the president has been telling people close to him that he intended to yank America out of the deal, even though he refused to share his intentions with G7 leaders. Working with a small team, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is working out how the US will pull out of the agreement, according to Axios. A formal withdrawal could take around three years. Such a drastic move from Trump could weaken the Paris Agreement, as the United States is the world’s second biggest carbon polluter. Via Axios and Politico Images via Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Flickr and Jim Mattis on Flickr

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White House official says Trump is pulling out of the Paris Agreement

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