14-Jun-2013 Detecting homemade explosives, not toothpaste
Sandia National Laboratories researchers want airports, border checkpoints and others to detect homemade explosives made with hydrogen peroxide without nabbing people whose toothpaste happens to contain peroxide.
7-Jun-2013 X-rays from NSLS reveal fuel cells in action
Wouldn't it be great to have a magical "energy box" that could convert a wide array of fuels to electricity with high efficiency and lower emissions? Solid oxide fuel cells show significant promise. But these solid-state energy-conversion devices are made of complex materials and they require specific conditions for optimal operation -- high temperatures, variable pressures, and electrical polarization.
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.
13-Mar-2013 Accelerating particles accelerates science -- with big benefits for society
Tackling the most challenging problems in accelerator science attracts the world's best and brightest to Brookhaven Lab. It's only natural that ideas and techniques born here take root in new research facilities around the world -- and spark a host of spin-off applications for industry, medicine, national security, and more.
29-Jan-2013 'Egg-cellent' world-record battery performance
SLAC and Stanford scientists have set a world record for energy storage, using a clever "yolk-shell" design to store five times more energy in the sulfur cathode of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery than is possible with today's commercial technology.
15-Jan-2013 Sandia airborne pods seek to trace nuclear bomb's origins
If a nuclear device were to unexpectedly detonate anywhere on Earth, the ensuing effort to find out who made the weapon probably would be led by aircraft rapidly collecting airborne radioactive particles for analysis.
18-Dec-2012 How cool are cool roofs? PPPL serves as the laboratory to find the answer
When Keith Rule and a team of interns walked onto the black and white roof of the main building of the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory one sweltering day last summer, they could feel the temperature difference between the two different colored areas in the soles of their feet.
16-Nov-2012 Growth Forum offers networking nirvana
A greener detergent, a better solar-cell coating, an off-the-grid freezer -- clean-tech entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to money-men and -women in 10-minute bursts at the 2012 Industry Growth Forum last month in Denver.
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory held the 25th Industry Growth Forum, an annual event that features presentations from emerging clean energy companies, provocative panels led by thought leaders, one-on-one meetings, and organized networking opportunities.
21-Aug-2012 Berkeley Lab scientists develop new way to study inner workings of algae cells
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a way to send molecules and proteins across the cell wall of algae, a feat that opens the door for a new way to study and manipulate these tiny organisms. The research could advance the development of algae-based biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and other useful compounds.
21-Aug-2012 Scientists create new diamond-denting carbon
A new super-hard form of carbon has been created by an international team of scientists working with X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
17-Jul-2012 Special report: Graphics processing units speed results in extreme-scale supercomputers
Can scientists and engineers benefit from extreme-scale supercomputers that use application-code accelerators called GPUs (graphics processing units)? Comparing GPU accelerators with today's fastest central processing units (CPUs), early results from diverse areas of research show 1.5- to 3-fold speedups for most codes. That acceleration means increased realism of simulations and decreased time to results. A special report details these findings.
12-Jul-2012 Idaho researcher building used nuclear fuel sensor
Much of the 6,200 metric tons of used nuclear fuel generated by US power plants over the last 40 years is stored safely in giant stainless steel casks. Darryl Butt, a Boise State University professor, is part of a team researching whether it can be stored that way for at least 60 more.
7-May-2012 NREL catalyst brings drop-in fuels closer
We live in a petroleum-based society, and the oil we use comes from plants that were buried eons ago and changed under pressure and high temperatures. As countries across the globe face dwindling oil supplies and the environmental impacts of tapping hard-to-process shale oil, the question arises: is there a greener way to replicate Mother Nature?
17-Apr-2012 New nanoparticle technology cuts water use, energy costs
Nuclear and coal power plants are some of the thirstiest machines on earth. The turbines that spin inside of them to generate electricity require tons and tons of steam, and all of that water has to come from somewhere.
29-Feb-2012 Climate scientists compute in concert
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are sharing computational resources and expertise to improve the detail and performance of a scientific application code that is the product of one of the world's largest collaborations of climate researchers. The Community Earth System Model couples components of atmosphere, land, ocean, and ice to reflect their complex interactions. By continuing to improve science representations and numerical methods in simulations, and exploiting modern computer architectures, researchers expect to further improve the CESM's accuracy in predicting climate changes.
29-Feb-2012 Computation proves predictive capabilities of nuclei through fluorine-14 simulation
Aa team led by Iowa State University physicist James Vary used Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility resources to predict the behavior of fluorine-14, a relatively unknown isotope. It published its predictions in Physical Review C in February 2010. Six months later, a group of researchers at Texas A&M University's Cyclotron Institute performed an experiment producing fluorine-14, and the results nearly mirrored those of Vary's group.
8-Feb-2012 Computer scientists collect computing tools for next-generation machines
Researchers using the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's can foresee substantial changes in scientific application code development. The OLCF's new supercomputer, Titan, will use a hybrid architecture of conventional, multipurpose CPUs and high-performance GPUs. The machine will supplant the OLCF's current fastest supercomputer, Jaguar, a Cray XT5 using an entirely CPU-based platform. Members of the OLCF's Application Performance Tools group understand the challenge. Their goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible.
26-Jan-2012 Nanotube 'glow sticks' transform surface science tool kit
Many physical and chemical processes necessary for biology and chemistry occur at the interface of water and solid surfaces. Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory publishing in Nature Nanotechnology have now shown that semiconducting carbon nanotubes -- light-emitting cylinders of pure carbon -- have the potential to detect and track single molecules in water.
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.