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27-May-2016 ORNL researchers use strain to engineer first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst
Catalysts make chemical reactions more likely to occur. In most cases, a catalyst that's good at driving chemical reactions in one direction is bad at driving reactions in the opposite direction. However, a research team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created the first high-performance, two-way oxide catalyst and filed a patent application for the invention. The accomplishment is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
12-May-2016 Solving the biomass puzzle
Biomass holds great promise as a petroleum replacement, but unlocking its true potential remains a puzzle. A group of researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory hope to develop the pieces of that puzzle to create a clearer picture of what takes place within a plant and how that applies to its downstream uses as biomass.
11-May-2016 Sandia/California invites community to 60th anniversay celebration
Sandia will commemorate the 60th anniversary of its California site with a community event in downtown Livermore on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, it will feature technology displays and demonstrations, national security speakers, hands-on science activities and recruiting.
26-Apr-2016 The Pellet Stove Design Challenge: We have a winner!
At Brookhaven Lab last week, seven finalists competed to be designated the top-performing pellet stove. The three-day Pellet Stove Design Challenge, organized by the Alliance for Green Heat, featured stove demonstrations and testing as well as presentations and round-table discussions on a variety of issues.
20-Apr-2016 Peering deep into materials with ultrafast science
Creating the batteries or electronics of the future requires understanding materials that are just a few atoms thick and that change their fundamental physical properties in fractions of a second. Cutting-edge facilities at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have allowed researchers like Aaron Lindenberg to visualize properties of these nanoscale materials at ultrafast time scales.
5-Apr-2016 Chalice receptors attract metal contaminants with new chemical selectivity
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found new ways to influence selectivity for specific positively charged ions (cations) with the addition of simple receptors, not for cations but rather for negatively charged ions (anions). This discovery proves that adding an anion receptor can affect the selectivity of extractants used to separate metals. Better selectivity via the addition of anion receptors to enhance discrimination between metals, such as sodium and cesium, could improve future environmental cleanup efforts.
28-Mar-2016 ORNL scientists show charged salts can extract specific central lanthanide elements
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory wanted to find out if it was possible to make a molecule that could selectively bind to metal cations in the middle of the lanthanide series. The team provided a proof-of-principle by successfully creating a new ligand that selectively extracted central lanthanides. Easier accessibility to these central lanthanides could lead to advances in materials for technologies such as lasers, strong magnets, lights and neutron-absorbing control rods in nuclear reactors.
24-Mar-2016 New catalyst is 3 times better at splitting water
With a combination of theory and clever, meticulous gel-making, scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Toronto have developed a new type of catalyst that's three times better than the previous record-holder at splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen -- the vital first step in making fuels from renewable solar and wind power.
9-Mar-2016 ORNL's benchmark data set validates global nuclear reactor codes
A re-analysis of nuclear fuel rods from a commercial reactor used improved radiochemical methods developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and characterized more than 50 different isotopes and 16 elements with high accuracy. It produced an experimental data set with uncertainties many times smaller than those obtained by the earlier radiochemical analysis. Modeling and simulation experts at ORNL applied the more accurate experimental data to validate codes widely used by the nuclear safeguards research community.
8-Mar-2016 'Keiser rigs' stress materials to the max to improve products for power, propulsion
For decades, environmental exposure chambers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, including some called Keiser rigs, have subjected materials to corrosive gases, crushing pressures and calamitous heat. The extreme environments created in the Keiser rigs have spurred advances and continue to do so by providing insight into the conditions under which materials fail so researchers can apply the lessons learned to design better materials for power and propulsion applications.
3-Mar-2016 Pushing boundaries
Solid-liquid interface studies have a long history at EMSL. The insights gained from this research spans areas including terrestrial ecosystems, energy materials, aerosols and biological systems. With improved understanding of interfacial events, scientists working at EMSL have developed more predictive models and made significant advances in addressing real-world challenges. EMSL's focus on solid-liquid interface research has pushed the development of new instruments and techniques to better study these complex surfaces for even greater scientific results.
29-Jan-2016 Meet Crysten and Ian Blaby
The US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory welcomes two new biologists, Crysten and Ian Blaby, who have been brought to the Lab to explore the many genes that play a role in a plant's ability to harness energy and what those genes could mean for enhancing bioenergy crops.
25-Jan-2016 Cracking cases
A group of nuclear detectives at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory takes on tough challenges, from detecting illicit uranium using isotopic 'fingerprints' to investigating Presidential assassination conspiracies. 'A very big capability at Oak Ridge exists for nuclear analytics, all the way from helping commercial production of nuclear power to making sure the world's nuclear materials are properly accounted for,' said ORNL's Joseph Giaquinto, leader of the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry and Isotopics Laboratories.
19-Jan-2016 ORNL researchers use neutrons to gain insight into battery inefficiency
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving the lifetimes of rechargeable batteries that run on lithium, a small atom that can pack tightly into graphite anode materials. The valuable ions are depleted as a battery charges, and they are also lost to the formation of a thin coating on a battery's anode during initial charging. ORNL researchers used two powerful neutron science facilities to try to understand the dynamics behind this phenomenon.
15-Jan-2016 ORNL's thermal cameras snoop beneath surfaces to reveal materials' secrets
In 1995, the Department of Energy's Continuous Fiber Ceramic Composite program, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, bought a high-speed infrared camera -- one of the first available for purchase outside the military. Since then, ORNL has acquired at least 10 additional IR cameras for use in a spectrum of projects. The cameras have mapped changing temperatures as heat flows through objects from gears to artwork.
16-Dec-2015 A collaboration bears fruit as W7-X celebrates first research plasma
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and other national laboratories joined colleagues from around the world at the celebration for the first plasma of the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, Germany.
15-Dec-2015 Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler dies at 84
Schweickhard 'Schwick' von Goeler, an award-winning physicist at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) for more than 35 years and the inventor of numerous X-ray diagnostics used in fusion experiments worldwide, died of leukemia on Dec. 6 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was 84.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.