Decarbonizing complex industries and processes

MIT Faculty and Researchers

Yuly Fuentes-Medel (lead), Greg Rutledge (lead), Svetlana Boriskina, Jeremy Gregory, A.John Hart, Jeremiah Johnson, Randolph Kirchain, Dava Newman, Bradley Olsen, Joseph Paradiso, Kristala Prather, David Rand, Zachary Smith, Luis Velasquez-Garcia, Erez Yoeli

External Collaborators

Clint Chapple (Purdue University)

Research summary

The textile industry is a global enterprise with a massive carbon footprint. It is responsible for 5-10 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These emissions are due to the energy-intensive nature of materials and processes used in the production, finishing, and maintenance of textiles, and the sheer volume of products manufactured each year. In textiles, MIT has the unprecedented opportunity to decarbonize a highly visible industry with significant GHG emissions through groundbreaking innovations in science, technology, operations, and business practices. Our multi-faceted strategy has 5 main components: new, low-carbon materials and additives; manufacturing processes to structure textiles and increase material efficiency; smart products that embody greater value to the consumer; behavioral changes that reduce emissions by encouraging adoption, utilization and circularity; and  systems-level analyses to quantify the impact of these new technologies on GHG emissions.

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