Public Release: 3-Oct-2017
Journal of Materials Chemistry A Surrounded by potential: New science in converting biomass
To take full advantage of biomass, lignin needs to be processed into usable components along with the plant cellulose. Currently, that process requires an acid plus high heat, or pyrolysis -- treating with high heat in the absence of oxygen. Besides being energy-consuming processing methods, the results are less than optimal. Ames Laboratory scientists are working to develop a method to deconstruct lignin in a way that is economically feasible and into stable, readily useful components.
DOE/Office of Science
Public Release: 3-Oct-2017
Nature Energy NREL, Johns Hopkins develop method to quantify life cycle land use of natural gas
A case study of the Barnett Shale region in Texas, where hydraulic fracturing was first implemented, for the first time provides quantifiable information on the life cycle land use of generating electricity from natural gas based on physical measurements instead of using assumptions and averages that were previously used for evaluation.
Public Release: 27-Sep-2017
2017 SAE International World Congress in Detroit Turbocharging engine design
Researchers at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have moved the development process into the passing lane. For the first time, Argonne's scientists and engineers pinpointed engine designs for a given fuel using the Mira supercomputer at the heart of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility.
Public Release: 26-Sep-2017 Berkeley Lab aims to strengthen the cybersecurity of the grid
As the US electricity grid continues to modernize, it will mean things like better reliability and resilience and lower environmental impacts, as well as new computing and communications technologies to monitor and manage the increasing number of devices that connect to the grid. However, that enhanced connectivity for grid operators and consumers also opens the door to hackers.
Department of Energy
Public Release: 26-Sep-2017 A quantum computer to tackle fundamental science problems
Two Berkeley Lab teams will receive Department of Energy funding to develop near-term quantum computing platforms and tools to be used for scientific discovery in the chemical sciences. One team will develop novel algorithms, compiling techniques and scheduling tools, while the other team will design prototype four- and eight-qubit processors to compute these new algorithms.
Public Release: 20-Sep-2017 Sandia Labs wins 5 regional technology transfer awards
Sandia National Laboratories won five awards from the 2017 Federal Laboratory Consortium for its work to develop and commercialize innovative technologies.
The annual FLC awards program recognizes federal laboratories and their industry partners for outstanding technology transfer achievements.
Public Release: 18-Sep-2017
Nature Materials NREL investigates coatings needed for concentrating solar power
Next-generation concentrating solar power (CSP) plants require high-temperature fluids, like molten salts, in the range of 550-750 degrees Celsius to store heat and generate electricity. At those high temperatures, however, the molten salts eat away at common alloys used in the heat exchangers, piping, and storage vessels of CSP systems. New research at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is aimed at mitigating corrosion levels in CSP plants with nickel-based coatings.
Public Release: 14-Sep-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid
PNNL researchers have measured the forces that cause certain crystals to assemble, revealing competing factors that researchers might be able to control. The work has a variety of implications in both discovery and applied science. In addition to providing insights into the formation of minerals and semiconductor nanomaterials, it might also help scientists understand soil as it expands and contracts through wetting and drying cycles.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, China's Xi'an Jiaotong University
Public Release: 6-Sep-2017 Carlsten, Nguyen and Sheffield win Free-Electron Laser Prize
At an international science conference hosted recently in Santa Fe, N.M., Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists Bruce Carlsten, Dinh Nguyen and Richard Sheffield were awarded the 2017 Free-Electron Laser (FEL) Prize.
Public Release: 5-Sep-2017
Advanced Functional Materials Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2017
ORNL story tips: 3-D printing process repairs and strengthens Cummins engine without recasting parts. Unoccupied research house serves as test bed for connected neighborhood project. Atomic force microscopy shows adding chloride to photovoltaic materials enhances ionic conduction. Researchers design innovative home energy router prototype. ORNL hosts molten salt reactor workshop.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 31-Aug-2017 Beating the heat with nanoparticle films
A partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and Santa Fe, New Mexico-based IR Dynamics is turning nano-size particles that reflect heat, or infrared radiation, into window films for offices, houses, even cars.
Public Release: 29-Aug-2017
Nature Chemistry Discovery suggests new significance of unheralded chemical reactions
Argonne and Columbia researchers reveal new significance to a decades-old chemical reaction theory, increasing our understanding of the interaction of gases, relevant to combustion and planetary atmospheres.
US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences
Public Release: 29-Aug-2017
Carbon Ames Laboratory scientists move graphene closer to transistor applications
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory were able to successfully manipulate the electronic structure of graphene, which may enable the fabrication of graphene transistors -- faster and more reliable than existing silicon-based transistors.
Public Release: 29-Aug-2017 NREL updates baseline cost and performance data for electricity generation technologies
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released the 2017 Annual Technology Baseline (ATB), updating a key source of reliable electricity generation technology cost and performance data used to support and inform electric sector analysis in the United States. Now in its third year, the ATB documents technology-specific information on a broad spectrum of electricity generation technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, coal, natural gas, and nuclear.
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.