Public Release: 21-Mar-2016
Analytical Chemistry Lighting up disease-carrying mosquitoes
Robert Meagher, a chemical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a simple technique for simultaneously detecting RNA from West Nile and chikungunya virus in samples from mosquitoes. He is now working to add the ability to screen for Zika virus.
Public Release: 15-Mar-2016
PLOS ONE Microbes may not be so adaptable to climate change
Microbes in soil -- organisms that exert enormous influence over our planet's carbon cycle -- may not be as adaptable to climate change as most scientists have presumed.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 11-Mar-2016
Nature Communications New fuel cell design powered by graphene-wrapped nanocrystals
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a new materials recipe for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell that shields the nanocrystals from oxygen, moisture and contaminants while pushing its performance forward in key areas.
Public Release: 10-Mar-2016 PNNL gives a helping hand to small green businesses
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will help three small businesses reduce the cost of hydropower, cut building energy use, and make adhesives from plants through new projects announced today by DOE's Small Business Vouchers program.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
Advanced Materials Mix and match MOF
Inexpensive materials called MOFs pull gases out of air or other mixed gas streams, but fail to do so with oxygen. Now, a team has overcome this limitation by creating a composite of a MOF and a helper molecule in which the two work in concert to separate oxygen from other gases simply and cheaply, they report in Advanced Materials.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 7-Mar-2016
Nuclear Fusion Multi-scale simulations solve a plasma turbulence mystery
Cutting-edge simulations run at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center have yielded exciting answers to long-standing questions about plasma heat loss that have previously stymied efforts to predict the performance of fusion reactors. The findings could pave the way to developing fusion as an alternative energy source.
Public Release: 1-Mar-2016
Nature Energy NREL collaboration boosts potential for CdTe solar cells
A critical milestone has been reached in cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cell technology, helping pave the way for solar energy to directly compete with electricity generated by conventional energy sources.
Public Release: 1-Mar-2016 Belgium's Red Electrical Devils win $1 million for innovative inverter design
Google and IEEE announced today that Belgium's Red Electrical Devils, a team from CE+T Power, has won the Little Box Challenge, a competition to invent a much smaller inverter for interconnecting solar power systems to the power grid. The success earned the team a $1 million prize while proving that inverters can be the size of a tablet or smaller rather than the size of a picnic cooler, more than a factor of 10 reduction in size.
Public Release: 29-Feb-2016 Cyclotron Road announces the selection of its second cohort of innovators
Today, Berkeley Lab's Cyclotron Road program announced the selection of its second cohort of innovators, whose projects include next generation batteries, advanced materials, biomanufacturing, and solar technologies. Cyclotron Road recruits entrepreneurial researchers and embeds them at Berkeley Lab for up to two years in a mentored technology entrepreneurship program.
Dept. of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office
Public Release: 23-Feb-2016
Global Change Biology: Bioenergy A new recipe for biofuel: Genetic diversity can lead to more productive growth
A team of national laboratory and university researchers led by the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory is growing large test plots of switchgrass crops with the farmer in mind. For the first time, researchers have mixed different genetic varieties of switchgrass on production-size plots, hypothesizing this could increase yield by extending the growing season, varying the size of the switchgrass plants to produce a fuller crop and potentially reducing the crop's vulnerability to weather fluctuations.
Public Release: 22-Feb-2016
Physics of Plasmas PPPL researchers advance understanding of turbulence that drains heat from fusion reactors
Physicists at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory appear to have gained important new insights into what affects plasma turbulence, which can impact the leakage of heat from the fusion plasma within tokamaks. Understanding how fusion plasmas lose heat is crucial because the more a plasma is able to retain its heat the more efficient a fusion reactor can be.
US Department of Energy's Office of Science
Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Science Biofuel tech straight from the farm
Nature's figured it out already, how to best break down food into fuel. Now scientists have caught up, showing that fungi found in the guts of goats, horses and sheep could help fill up your gas tank too.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, US Department of Agriculture, Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies
Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Algal Research Renewable fuels from algae boosted by NREL refinery process
A new biorefinery process developed by scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has proven to be significantly more effective at producing ethanol from algae than previous research.
Public Release: 12-Feb-2016
Resources Policy How true is conventional wisdom about price volatility of tech metals?
Preliminary research by the Colorado School of Mines (Mines) and funded by the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) suggests that conventional wisdom about the high price volatility of by-product metals and minerals is generally true, but with several caveats.
Critical Materials Institute
Public Release: 12-Feb-2016
Scientific Reports Graphene leans on glass to advance electronics
Scientists have developed a simple and powerful method for creating resilient, customized, and high-performing graphene: layering it on top of common glass. This scalable and inexpensive process helps pave the way for a new class of microelectronic and optoelectronic devices -- everything from efficient solar cells to touch screens.
DOE/Office of Science, Brookhaven Laboratory Directed Research and Development
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016 Claims for solar cell efficiency put to test at NREL
The sheet of paper taped to the door of Keith Emery's office tells the story. On the paper is a simple fever chart showing the improvements made in increasing the efficiency of two dozen types of solar cells. Some of the lines marking record efficiencies date to the mid-1970s. Others start much more recently, with the advent of newer technologies.
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016
Science Advances NREL explains the higher cellulolytic activity of a vital microorganism
Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) say better understanding of a bacterium could lead to cheaper production of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels.
Public Release: 8-Feb-2016 NREL patents method for continuous monitoring of materials during manufacturing
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was recently issued a patent for a novel method that rapidly characterizes specialized materials during the manufacturing process. This approach significantly improves on standard quality control techniques by allowing for complete monitoring of materials without interrupting workflow.
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.