Energy and Environment

Finding innovative solutions to protect our environment and natural resources.


Energy and Environment

Finding innovative solutions to protect our environment and natural resources

Real solutions to protect and preserve our environment
IBM Research works with with organizations around the world to develop creative solutions that address what is arguably one of today's greatest challenges: protecting the environment and our natural resources. This work builds on an enduring responsibility ingrained in the IBM corporate policy and culture to prioritize innovation in this important area.

Featured projects

volcat plastic recycling

Volatile Catalyst (VolCat)

A radical new recycling process
IBM researchers have discovered a catalytic chemical process that digests certain plastics (called polyesters) into a substance which can be fed directly back into plastic manufacturing machines in order to make new products. Advancements like VolCat will make plastics recycling more efficient and versatile.

IBM AgroPad

Health-check soil and water with AI
The AgroPad enables real-time, on-location chemical analysis of a soil or water sample, using AI. Since the paper-based tests can be reliably performed by non-experts, public data collection with instant digitization in chemical sensing becomes a real possibility. Along with low cost, mass production of the paper-based device and large-scale deployment through mobile and cloud technologies, the exploratory prototype could revolutionize digital agriculture and environmental testing.

Autonomous AI microscopes

Real-time oceanic data
IBM researchers are building small, autonomous microscopes that can be placed in bodies of water to monitor plankton in situ, identifying different species and tracking their movement in three dimensions. The findings can be used to better understand their behavior, such as how they respond to changes to their environment caused by everything from temperature to oil spills to run off. They could even be used to predict threats to our water supply, like red tides.
green horizons

The Jefferson Project at Lake George

Monitoring lake health with the IoT
Since 2013, the collaboration between IBM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and The FUND for Lake George has built the world’s most advanced environmental monitoring system. The system has a sensor network that gathers more than nine terabytes of physical and chemical data annually, computer models that depict the flow of water, nutrients and contaminants through the watershed and surveys aquatic animals that inhabit the lake and streams. The monitoring system also conducts ongoing experiments to test the impacts of human activities on the Lake George ecosystem.
Now is the time to focus on real solutions for our environment

Learn more about Environmental research at IBM


Underwater to Outer Space

5 ways scientists at IBM Research are using AI to save the planet


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Read the latest news and research from IBM Research at our blog.


IBM and the Environment

Learn more about IBM's corporate policy on environmental affairs