Formerly known as Facebook, Meta Platforms Inc. has been working on using machine learning technologies to combat climate change and increase the efficiency of industrial systems.

Meta released several approaches they're focusing on taking utilizing artificial intelligence to tackle these issues and develop sustainable engineering solutions.

One of the initiatives is the Open Catalyst Project, which is a partnership between Meta AI and Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Chemical Engineering, helping bring together artificial intelligence researchers to design new ML models to predict chemical reactions for energy storage.

For example, renewable energy, solar, and wind energy depend on the availability of sun and wind in order to generate power. However, when it's not sunny or windy for a long period of time, power generation drops off. This requires building energy storage, typically batteries, to absorb excess energy so that it can be delivered during off-peak times.

"The problem is that batteries don't scale really well with storage. So we need to find a way to store energy that actually scales. That's where the Open Catalyst Project actually comes in," said Larry Zitnick, lead research scientist for the Open Catalyst Project. 

The project provides datasets for the discovery of chemical catalysts for building cheaper and scalable batteries for renewable energy networks. With the research team's efforts to date, Zitnick says Open Catalyst has built the largest training data set of materials for renewable energy storage in the world.