News

Half of air pollution in the U.S. to come from out-of-state emissions

More than half of all air quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions that originate outside of the state in which those deaths occur, LAE researchers report today in the journal Nature. The study focuses on the years between 2005 and 2018 and tracks combustion emissions […]

New LAE study quantifies air quality and climate impacts of aviation

New research from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment has quantified the climate and air quality impacts of aviation, broken down by emission type, altitude and location. Writing in Environmental Research Letters, the research team examines how this damage can be mitigated, and provides consistent comparative assessments of aviation emissions […]

2,700 premature deaths attributed to excess emissions of Diesel cars

In September 2015, German Volkswagen Group, the world’s largest car producer, admitted to having installed “defeat devices” in 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide between 2008 and 2015. The devices enabled more than 11 million passenger vehicles to meet U.S. emissions standards in the laboratory despite producing emissions up to […]

LAE co-leading new research on autonomy and environment

In September 2017, LAE’s Director Professor Steven Barrett and Professor Sertac Karaman received a Seed Grant from MIT’s Environmental Solution Initiative (ESI). The research team aims to analyze autonomy-enabled transport in trucks, aircraft, and door-to-door systems to reduce fossil fuel consumption. In a first project phase, the project will focus on machine-learning techniques […]

Steven Barrett receives the Professor Bose Research Grant

Since 2014, the Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grant has supported MIT faculty with innovative and potentially paradigm-shifting research ideas, and this year is no exception: With Bose funding, six research teams composed of nine MIT faculty members will pursue projects ranging from nanoengineering a light-emitting plant to developing solid-state […]

Measuring exposure to pollution

What’s the best way to measure human exposure to urban pollution? Typically, cities do so by studying air-quality levels in fixed places. New York City, for example, has an extensive monitoring network that measures air quality in 155 locations. But now a study led by MIT researchers, focused on New […]

Piston engine aircraft pose a health risk

They may seem innocuous enough, those small planes used for weekend getaways, flight training, small freight deliveries, and other civilian purposes. But collectively, the more than 167,000 piston-engine aircraft that comprise the majority of the U.S. general aviation (GA) fleet may pose a significant health threat. That’s because these vehicles, which rely […]

Singapore-MIT Environmental Solutions Hackathon

Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling, SMART, Singapore From July 5th-7th, students from MIT and National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) converged on the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) for the Singapore Environmental Solutions Hackathon. The challenge […]

Study quantifies US health impacts of Volkswagen emissions defeat devices

Volkswagen’s use of software to evade emissions standards in more than 482,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. will directly contribute to 60 premature deaths across the country, a new MIT-led study finds. In September, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that the German automaker had developed and installed “defeat devices” […]

New model calculates how air transport connects the world

Study finds one-stop flights are a big contributor to global connectivity. Every time you’ve seen a plane take off or land at a hub airport, you’ve seen the world growing more connected, according to a new model developed by researchers at MIT. In a study published in the journal Transportation Research […]

Study finds wider use of premium gasoline could save fuel, money

If the majority of light-duty vehicles in the United States ran on higher-octane gasoline, the automotive industry as a whole would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 35 million tons per year, saving up to $6 billion in fuel costs, according to a new analysis by MIT researchers. In a […]

LAE begins new NASA research on environmental impacts of supersonic aviation

MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment is beginning a new research effort on the environmental impacts of a potential future fleet of supersonic aircraft. The research effort, funded by NASA, aims to advance scientific understanding of the role of high altitude emissions in atmospheric chemistry, ozone depletion, and climate […]

FAA awards $40 million to new Center of Excellence led by WSU and MIT

For Immediate Release FAA Press Release Contact: Holly Baker Phone: 609-485-6253 WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected a team of universities to lead a new Air Transportation Center of Excellence (COE) for alternate jet fuels and the environment. […]

Pacific flights create most amount of ozone

The amount of ozone created from aircraft pollution is highest from flights leaving and entering Australia and New Zealand, a new study has shown.  The findings, which have been published today, Thursday 5 September, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, could have wide-reaching implications for aviation policy as ozone […]

Air pollution causes 200,000 early deaths each year in the U.S.

Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have come out with some sobering new data on air pollution’s impact on Americans’ health. The group tracked ground-level emissions from sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States, […]

SAE 2013 Aerospace Alternative Fuels and Associated Environmental Impacts Symposium

The SAE 2013 Aerospace Alternative Fuels and Associated Environmental Impacts Symposium will be held in Brussels 13-14 June, 2013. Further information about the program and registration information is available at http://www.sae.org/events/aafs/. LAE Director Steven Barrett is chairing the symposium, with other LAE contributors including Robert Malina (chairing the economic impacts session), Mark […]

Electrohydrodynamic effect offers promise for efficient propulsion in air

When a current passes between two electrodes — one thinner than the other — it creates a wind in the air between. If enough voltage is applied, the resulting wind can produce a thrust without the help of motors or fuel. This phenomenon, called electrohydrodynamic thrust — or, more colloquially, […]

New MIT graduate course 16.715 Transportation and the Environment

New MIT graduate level course 16.715 Transportation and the Environment is being introduced this spring term. The course considers the impacts of emissions from aviation, shipping, road and rail on cimate, air quality, human health and noise. Mitigation approaches across technology, biofuels, policy and operational improvements are covered. The course is taught by […]

Lab releases global aviation emissions dataset

A global emissions dataset for civil aviation emissions now available. The dataset contains three-dimensional gridded emissions for (scheduled) civil aviation for 2005. This dataset represents the most current estimate of global aviation emissions that is publicly available. It is intended to be of use to researchers in areas including atmospheric modeling and […]

Study on air quality impacts of UK airport capacity expansion

According to the U.K.’s Department for Transport, demand for air travel in the country will more than double by 2030, from 127 million to 300 million passengers per year. A debate over how to accommodate this rising demand has revolved around two main proposals: adding a third runway to London’s […]

Lab hosts high school students in engineering outreach program

On Thursday August 9th, the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment hosted high school students from the AeroAstro track of MIT’s MOSTEC Program (MIT Online Science, Technology and Engineering Community) which is administered by the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs.  Prior to visiting MIT, each student completed a month […]

New study links air pollution and early death in UK

In a study appearing this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, MIT researchers report that emissions from cars, trucks, planes and powerplants cause 13,000 premature deaths in the United Kingdom each year. The researchers analyzed data from 2005, the most recent year for which information is available. They found that among […]

Study released on the costs and benefits of desulfurizing jet fuel

A new MIT-led study has been released that assesses the economic and environmental costs and benefits of desulfurizing jet fuel. Aircraft emissions can reduce air quality, leading to adverse health impacts including increased risk of premature mortality. A technically viable way to mitigate the health impacts of aviation is the […]

A link between air travel and deaths on the ground

The atmosphere is full of natural and man-made chemicals, including emissions from fuel combustion and byproducts of living organisms. Many of these chemicals combine in the atmosphere to form tiny solid and liquid particles known as “fine particulate matter” that are 2.5 micrometers or smaller (the average human hair is […]