Having the right tool for the job enabled scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their collaborators to discover that a workhorse catalyst of vehicle exhaust systems -- an 'oxygen sponge' that can soak up oxygen from air and store it for later use in oxidation reactions -- may also be a 'hydrogen sponge.' The finding may pave the way for the design of more effective catalysts for selective hydrogenation reactions.
A select group of scientists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has been honored as fellows of the American Physical Society and the Electrochemical Society. Physicists Kawtar Hafidi and Michael Carpenter have been appointed as American Physical Society fellows and Materials Scientist Khalil Amine and Chemist Chris Johnson have been elected as Electrochemical Society fellows.
Scientific Diplomacy: Three Berkeley Lab scientists are collaborating with two Techwomen -- Patu Ndango from Cameroon and Rim Abid from Tunisia -- on quality control methods for constrained environments.
Argonne researchers have found a new way to produce solar fuels by developing 'synthetic purple membranes.' These membranes involve an assembly of lipid nanodiscs, man-made proteins, and semiconducting nanoparticles that, when taken together, can transform sunlight into hydrogen fuel.
A new study by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has quantified the impact speeding and slamming on the brakes has on fuel economy and consumption. Aggressive behavior behind the wheel can lower gas mileage in light-duty vehicles, which can equate to losing about $0.25 to $1 per gallon.
Kasper Kjaer is the winner of the inaugural LCLS Young Investigator Award given by the Users Executive Committee of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The prize recognizes scientists in the early stages of their career for exceptional research performed with the LCLS X-ray free-electron laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Using X-ray techniques, scientists are developing an analysis tool that can more accurately predict how sulfur compounds in a batch of crude oil might corrode equipment- an important safety issue for the oil industry.
Nature provides myriad examples of unique materials and structures developed for specialized applications or adaptations. An interdisciplinary group of researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is trying to unlock the secrets that organisms use to build such complex structures so that power can be used to create materials not found in nature and not capable of being synthesized by conventional means.
8-Jun-2017 Tackling infectious disease -- one protein at a time
A team of scientists in the Pacific Northwest has solved the 3-D structure of 1,000 proteins from more than 70 organisms that cause infectious disease in people. The proteins the team has studied come from microbes that cause several serious diseases, including tuberculosis, Listeria, Giardia, Ebola, anthrax, C. diff., Legionella, Lyme, chlamydia and the flu.
3-May-2017 Researchers develop a new catalyst for water splitting
Water-splitting systems require a very efficient catalyst to speed up the chemical reaction that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, while preventing the gases from recombining back into water. Now an international research team, including scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has developed a new catalyst with a molybdenum coating that prevents this problematic back reaction and works well in realistic operating conditions.
14-Mar-2017 Two-dimensional MXene materials get their close-up
Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders. ORNL scientists using state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscopy provided the first direct evidence of the atomic-defect configurations in a titanium-carbide MXene synthesized at Drexel University. Published in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society, the study coupled atomic-scale characterization and electrical property measurements with theory-based simulation.
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.
11-Jan-2017 Brookhaven National Laboratory's top-10 science successes of 2016
From advances in accelerators and experiments exploring the building blocks of matter and making medical isotopes to new revelations about superconductors, nanomaterials, and biofuels, 2016 was a year of accomplishment at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Here are our Top-10 highlights.
21-Dec-2016 Filling in the nuclear data gaps
Berkeley Lab's Nuclear Data Group is conducting new experiments to address common data needs in nuclear medicine, nuclear energy and fusion R&D, security, and counterproliferation work.
11-Nov-2016 PPPL senior physicist Wei-li Lee honored at week-long symposium
Physicists from around the world gathered at the University of California, Irvine this past summer for a symposium in honor of Wei-li Lee, a senior physicist at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).
3-Nov-2016 Peering into batteries: X-rays reveal lithium-ion's mysteries
Scientists are using x-rays from the national laboratories' advanced light sources to study the movement and structure of lithium-ion batteries in real time, as the batteries function. This technique led to the development of the cathode used in the Chevrolet Volt and is now being used to further improve our understanding of batteries.
19-Oct-2016 Underground science: Berkeley Lab digs deep for clean energy solutions
About a mile beneath the Earth's surface in an old gold mine, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have built an observatory to study how rocks fracture. The knowledge they gain could ultimately help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies.
1-Sep-2016 Blowing bubbles to catch carbon dioxide
Sandia and UNM researchers developed a bio-inspired bubble-like membrane to capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants efficiently. The CO2 Memzyme could capture CO2 equivalent to planting 63 million trees and letting them grow for 10 years from just one power plant.
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.