24-Jan-2017 The contradictory catalyst
One reason we can't bottle summer sunshine and save the solar energy for rainy days is that we don't have an efficient way to store it. Nature stores energy in chemical bonds, like when plants photosynthesize our food. Researchers are trying to design catalysts based on inexpensive metals to store energy like nature does.
Scientists have witnessed the birth of atmospheric ice clouds, creating ice cloud crystals in the laboratory and then taking images of the process through a microscope, essentially documenting the very first steps of cloud formation. The team took time-lapse movies of the first few seconds when a particle attracts water vapor, forming ice crystals that become the core of icy cirrus clouds - the high, wispy clouds that act much like a blanket for our planet.
29-Jun-2016 PNNL's Richard Moss to help guide new phase of US National Climate Assessment
Today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration opened a new chapter of the National Climate Assessment by announcing the appointment of new members to the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. Chairing this 15-member committee will be Richard Moss, a senior scientist with the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
12-May-2015 Finding the missing particles
For the past 20 years, a large portion of the particles measured in the atmosphere were missing from models. At best, models were able to explain one-tenth of the carbon-rich secondary organic aerosols measured in the air. The problem turned out to be a series of fundamental assumptions used in the models due to a lack of experimental data. All of the assumptions were proven false by Dr. Alla Zelenyuk and her colleagues.
21-May-2014 Tethys: A robust source of information on marine energy, offshore wind projects
Wondering what the impact on killer whales might be from a turbine installed under the sea? Check out Tethys, a robust online resource available for free to anyone interested in ocean energy and offshore wind resources. Tethys focuses on the environmental effects of energy projects that are proposed, underway or completed in the ocean and above it.
18-Mar-2014 Tapping into the metabolome
Metabolomics -- a field often called "the last 'omics frontier" -- seeks to understand the fundamental metabolic workings of a cell in a changing environment. Scientists at EMSL use mass spectrometers, nuclear magnetic resonance, imaging devices and other cutting-edge instruments to glean the information to help produce better fuels, crops and other bioproducts.
12-Mar-2014 Deep insights from thin layers
Imaging -- and understanding -- proteins may become a bit easier thanks to a team of researchers led by scientists at DOE's Pacific Northwest and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
29-Apr-2013 A solar booster shot for natural gas power plants
Natural gas power plants can use about 20 percent less fuel when the sun is shining by injecting solar energy into natural gas with a new system being developed by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
12-Sep-2012 Fresh water feeds hurricanes' fury
PNNL researchers discovered that hurricanes and tropical cyclones become up to 50 percent more intense when passing over oceans inundated with fresh water. Their findings might help improve predictions of a hurricane's power in certain regions.
11-Jan-2012 Biofuels from bacteria is biochemist's goal
Environmental proteomics does not just aid development of new biofuels but helps further understanding of the impact of climate change and the use of organisms for bioremediation.
7-Dec-2011 Home sweet, energy efficient, home
Two new research facilities at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will serve as a test bed for studying energy efficient and smart homes.
12-Aug-2011 A catalyst for high-impact science
A multi-institutional team of scientists is using EMSL's new Recovery Act-funded capabilities to achieve new insights into catalytic reactions on the surfaces of advanced metal oxide-based materials. The work is part of an inaugural EMSL Research Campaign that brings together world-leading capabilities and expertise in support of more efficient, less costly catalysts -- a need with cross-cutting energy and industrial applications.
1-Jul-2011 Buried treasure
EMSL scientist Hongfei Wang and his team recently struck a vein that could lead to research gold for scientists interested in molecular interactions at interfaces. Their picosecond-femtosecond broadband sum frequency generation system is now ready to provide a new generation of surface vibrational spectroscopy and imaging.
7-Nov-2008 Solo sparkle: Electron give-and-take lets molecules shine individually on camera
A single fluorescent molecule flashing as it gains or loses its electron has made the microscopic spotlight. Watching a whole gaggle of these molecules, they appear to work synchronously, but a new close-up view reveals mavericks that shine when they seemingly shouldn't. The work sets the stage for a better understanding of the underlying principles of certain reactions common to biofuel production.
27-Dec-2007 PNNL's Richard Smith named to prestigious Scientific American 50 list of outstanding leaders
Richard D. Smith, a Battelle Fellow at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been named one of 50 outstanding leaders in the 2007 Scientific American 50 -- an annual list of 50 key contributors in science and technology. Smith shared the honor for creating a new approach to neurological diagnostics with Desmond Smith of UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.
15-Jun-2007 Brain 3D mapping to combat neurodegenerative disease
Wanda felt a jolt of frustration run through
her when her husband forgot to meet her at
the clubhouse after their round of golf. How many times had this happened lately? It was becoming an embarrassment.
15-Jun-2007 Discovering the details of dissolution
Ions in a liquid are like celebrities at a movie opening -- surrounded by fans who jostle each other to get as close as the velvet ropes around the red carpet will allow. So it is
with ions in water or other liquids or solvents.
15-Jun-2007 Cytochrome studies provide biofuel cell potential
Researchers from Pacific Northwest
National Laboratory and collaborators have
purified the protein called outer membrane
cytochrome A (OmcA) from Shewanella
oneidensis, a bacterium with promise for
bioremediation of contaminants and the
design of microbial fuel cells. They have
measured its ability to bind and transfer
electrons to mineral hematite, a solid ferric
oxide. The team has shown that purified
OmcA can directly reduce solid metals
and that purified proteins are a next step
in biofuel cell development.
15-Jun-2007 Aerosol particles and cloud droplets -- Microscopic modulators of climate
Scientists around the world use
sophisticated computer models to
simulate future scenarios of all types -- including global climate. Researchers
at Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory are playing a key role in
the improvement of these models by
providing new information about the
role of aerosols in the atmosphere.
15-Jun-2007 Dust in the wind
In March 2006, a major dust storm
occurred in Niamey, Niger. Although a
common occurrence, this was the first
time both satellite- and ground-based
instruments were used simultaneously
to assess the impact of airborne Saharan
dust on incoming and outgoing solar
15-Jun-2007 Hopping hydrogen
Researchers at Pacific Northwest
National Laboratory and the University
of Texas at Austin discovered that a single
hydrogen atom just can't keep still after it
splits from a water molecule on the surface
of the catalyst rutile titanium oxide. The
hydrogen atom hopscotches across the
oxygen atoms that stud the surface of the
catalyst, while the hydrogen on what is left
from water remains fixed, suggesting that
the electronic structure of this popular
catalyst is not entirely as it seems.
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.