Mobility Forum - Tough to Decarbonize Transportation: MIT Climate Grand Challenge

Friday, September 30, 2022 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event

In 2021, as part of MIT’s Climate Grand Challenge initiative, we led a study of options and challenges for decarbonizing the big tough to decarbonize transportation sectors of the global economy: aviation, trans-oceanic shipping, and long-haul trucking. These sectors rely on high-energy density fuels to achieve long range. Currently these sectors rely almost completely on fuels made from petroleum, and their global CO2 emissions are large (gigatons per year) and growing. The vehicles used in these sectors are already rather fuel efficient, so it will not be possible to reduce their climate impacts by an order of magnitude just by efficiency improvements; big changes to the fuel sector will be required as well.

The study clarified issues that make each of these sectors challenging. We also identified some technologies which have the potential to meet these challenges at an affordable cost to society. We will briefly review the findings of the study, and then discuss follow-up work we have done on the problem of significantly reducing the climate impacts of aviation and of long-haul trucking.


Speaker: Prof. Steven Barrett (MIT AeroAstro) and William Green (MIT Chem. Eng.)

Host: Prof. Jinhua Zhao

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Events By Interest

Academic, Climate & Sustainability

Events By Audience

Public, MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff

Events By School

School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), School of Engineering (SoE)


MIT Mobility Initiative
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