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The Lead

Computer power clicks with geochemistry

January 28, 2014 8:10 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories is developing computer models that show how radioactive waste interacts with soil and sediments, shedding light on waste disposal and how to keep contamination away from drinking water. Researchers have studied the geochemistry of contaminants such as radioactive materials and toxic heavy metals, including lead, arsenic and cadmium. But laboratory testing of soils is difficult.

World’s first magma-enhanced geothermal system created in Iceland

January 23, 2014 1:54 pm | by Iqbal Pittalwala, Univ. of California, Riverside | News | Comments

In 2009, a borehole drilled at Krafla, northeast Iceland, as part of the Icelandic...

Can we turn unwanted carbon dioxide into electricity?

December 12, 2013 5:54 pm | by Pam Frost Gorder, Ohio State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers are developing a new kind of...

GIEC signs MOU with Pakistan universities to enhance scientific cooperation

September 11, 2013 11:52 am | News | Comments

Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences (GIEC) signed a Memorandum...

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A Cool Geothermal Solution

August 28, 2013 10:22 am | Award Winners

The ClimateMaster Trilogy 40 Q-Mode water-to-air packaged geothermal heat pump unit, developed by ClimateMaster and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is the first geothermal heat pump to exceed a certified cooling efficiency of 40 EER (energy-efficiency ratio) under the AHRI’s part load ground loop rating conditions.

ORNL wins six 2013 R&D 100 Awards

July 9, 2013 3:38 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have received six R&D 100 awards. The six awards bring ORNL's total of R&D 100 awards to 179 since their inception in 1963. This year, ORNL received awards for the following technologies: ClimateMaster Trilogy 40 Q-Mode Geothermal Heat Pump, Distribute The Highest Selected Textual Recommendation, V-shaped External Cavity Laser Diode Array, and more.

Engineers explore compressed air for renewable energy storage

May 21, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

A new study has identified two unique methods for storing energy using wind power. A team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Bonneville Power Administration has located two sites in Washington that could serve as multi-megawatt facilities. They say power for about 85,000 homes each month could be stored in porous rocks deep underground for later use.

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Researchers analyze “rock dissolving” method of geoengineering

January 24, 2013 10:59 am | News | Comments

The benefits and side effects of dissolving particles in our ocean’s surfaces to increase the marine uptake of carbon dioxide, and therefore reduce the excess amount of it in the atmosphere, have been analyzed in a new study.

Geoscientists cite need for basic research to unleash new energy sources

December 3, 2012 12:26 pm | News | Comments

Geological and environmental challenges facing developers of renewable energy and shale gas resources will be a dominant at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union this week in San Francisco. Experts on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing will be speaking about enhanced geothermal technology, which takes advantage of fracking techniques to access deep well thermal energy, delivered as steam.

NREL study shows renewable energy potential in every state

August 2, 2012 5:35 am | News | Comments

A new study of renewable energy’s technical potential finds that every state in the nation has the space and resource to generate clean energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory produced the study, which looks at available renewable resources in each state and establishes an upper-boundary estimate of development potential.

Currents in Earth’s mantle may change planet’s magnetic field

July 31, 2012 5:21 am | News | Comments

A group of geoscientists studying the behavior of the Earth’s geomagnetic field have recently discovered that on a time scale of tens to hundreds of millions of years, the field itself may be influenced by currents in the mantle. These thermal flows could also be connected to frequent polarity reversals that have taken place in Earth’s past.

Polycrystalline diamond drill bits open up options for geothermal energy

March 19, 2012 5:40 am | News | Comments

Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed nearly 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology fullcircle, showing how geothermal drillers might use the original PDC technology, incorporating decades of subsequent improvements by the oil and gas industry.

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Engineers to pour water into volcano to make power

January 15, 2012 4:10 pm | by Jeff Bernard, Associated Press | News | Comments

Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise. The federal government, Google and other investors are interested enough to bet $43 million on the project.

Power up: The Earth, the leaf, and the atom

October 27, 2011 4:37 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

In part four of a continuing Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study on scalable energy candidates, researchers from the MIT Energy Initiative discuss how there are many sources that can make a contribution to our energy supply, but likely not at a major scale in the near future.

Earth's heat could out-produce coal plants

October 25, 2011 12:54 pm | News | Comments

According to the first Google.org-funded geothermal mapping report, thermal resources totalling more than 3 million MW of power are stretched out across the U.S. The report’s authors say that, using current technologies, enough could be recovered to exceed coal plant production.

Carbon sequestration policy must balance private property, public good

October 11, 2011 4:58 am | News | Comments

The lack of a settled legal framework that balances private property rights while maximizing the public good ultimately hinders the large-scale commercial deployment of geologic carbon sequestration, according to published research by a University of Illinois expert in renewable energy law.

NETL projects selected to conduct geothermal energy research

September 29, 2011 9:43 am | News | Comments

Two geothermal energy projects led by researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have been selected to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. These projects promise to help accelerate development of geothermal energy technologies and diversify America’s sources of clean, renewable energy.

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DOE awards LLNL more than $850,000 for geothermal research

September 15, 2011 8:15 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has received $890,000 from U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to help accelerate geothermal energy technology. The main project, "Stochastic Joint Inversion for Integrated Data Interpretation in Geothermal Exploration," aims to reduce resource exploration costs by developing a processing technique for a variety of geophysical and geological parameters.

Rice reinforces gas hydrate strategy

September 15, 2011 5:50 am | News | Comments

Their critics weren't convinced the first time, but Rice University researchers didn't give up on the "ice that burns." The Rice team has expanded upon previous research to locate and quantify the amount of methane hydrates—a potentially vast source of energy—that may be trapped under the seabed by analyzing shallow core samples.

DOE awards up to $38 million to advance geothermal energy technology

September 9, 2011 7:20 am | News | Comments

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $38 million over three years for projects to accelerate the development of promising geothermal energy technologies and help diversify America’s sources of clean, renewable energy.

Team works to produce electricity from Earth's heat using carbon dioxide

August 9, 2011 8:26 am | News | Comments

A team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists hopes to become the first in the world to produce electricity from the Earth’s heat using carbon dioxide. They also want to permanently store some of the carbon dioxide underground. The technology could lead to a new source of clean, domestic energy and a new way to fight climate change.

DOE announces $70 million to advance geothermal energy technology

June 9, 2011 9:21 am | News | Comments

In support of President Obama's goal of generating 80% of the country's electricity from clean energy sources by 2035, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the availability of up to $70 million in new funding over three years for technology advancements in geothermal energy to accelerate development of this promising clean energy resource.

Geothermal technology packs one-two punch against climate change

June 6, 2011 6:55 am | News | Comments

Two Univ. of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences researchers have developed an innovative approach to tapping heat beneath the Earth’s surface. The method is expected to not only produce renewable electricity far more efficiently than conventional geothermal systems, but also help reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 )—dealing a one-two punch against climate change.

NREL highlights 2010 utility green power leaders

May 9, 2011 10:20 am | News | Comments

As was highlighted in yesterday’s R&D Daily , America does not hold a leadership position in developing green technologies. But interest in renewable energy is strong, and according to the National Renewable Energy Lab, more than 850 energy utilities across the U.S. offer green power programs. NREL this week released its annual list of its leaders.

Magma power for geothermal energy?

February 18, 2011 3:20 am | News | Comments

When a team of scientists drilling near an Icelandic volcano hit magma in 2009, they had to abandon their planned experiments on geothermal energy. But the mishap could point the way to an alternative source of geothermal power.

Scientists mull tapping Iceland volcano's molten rock for high-grade energy

February 16, 2011 7:53 am | News | Comments

Geologists drilling an exploratory geothermal well in 2009 in the Krafla volcano in Iceland were forced to stop when they encountered a surprise visitor: a magma flow at 6,900 feet underground. Given the opportunity to experiment, researchers now believe steam rising from above the magma could power turbines and offer a new energy source.

GREEN-struments

April 16, 2009 1:30 pm | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Straight-ahead performance is still job one for scientific instruments, but in the name of environmental awareness, it's not the only selling point.

Geothermal benefits from new separator

August 31, 2003 8:00 pm | Award Winners

Innovative blends of process controls are featured in the Low Emissions Atmospherics Separator or LEAMS. Developed by Douglas Jung, PI, Two Phase Engineering & Research, Santa Rosa, Calif., in conjunction with Allan Sattler, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M., and Al Champness, President, Drill Cool Systems, Bakersfield, Calif., LEAMS addresses the contamination problems associated with drilling and creating geothermal power.

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