Lignin is a waste material that is produced when paper is manufactured from wood. Instead of disposing of the lignin, a research team at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has learned how to take the material and convert it into powering a green battery.
A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Amit Goyal, a former R&D Scientist of the Year, has demonstrated that superconducting wires can be tuned to match different operating conditions by introducing small amounts of non-superconducting material, or defects, that influences how the overall material behaves. A wire sample grown with this process exhibited new levels of performance in terms of engineering critical current density.
A new study from an international team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory is guiding drug designers toward improved pharmaceuticals to treat HIV. The scientists used neutrons and x-rays to study the interactions between HIV protease, a protein produced by the HIV virus, and an antiviral drug commonly used to block virus replication.
Better batteries, catalysts, electronic information storage and processing devices are among potential benefits of an unexpected discovery made by Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists using samples isolated from the atmosphere. The researchers learned that key surface properties of complex oxide films are unaffected by reduced levels of oxygen during fabrication, a finding that could help design functional complex oxides.
More forms of mercury can be converted to deadly methylmercury than previously thought, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience.The discovery provides scientists with another piece of the mercury puzzle, bringing them one step closer to understanding the challenges associated with mercury cleanup.
The Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) announced that its scientists have successfully completed the first full-scale simulation of an operating nuclear reactor. CASL is modeling nuclear reactors on supercomputers to help researchers better understand reactor performance, with the goal of ultimately increasing power output, extending reactor life and reducing waste.
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.
Researchers at Wright State University, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are building a new version of a hydrothermal atomic force microscope, an instrument that can look at minerals and other solid surfaces as they react with fluids in their native environment. It could, say its developers, revolutionize the study of materials at high temperatures and pressures.
A collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers and a team led by the Carnegie Institution for Science's Malcolm Guthrie has led to discoveries about how ice behaves under pressure, changing ideas that date back almost 50 years. The findings could alter scientists' understanding of how the water molecule responds to conditions found deep within planets and could have implications for energy science.
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have designed and tested an all-solid lithium-sulfur battery with approximately four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion technologies that power today's electronics. The ORNL battery design, which uses abundant low-cost elemental sulfur, also addresses flammability concerns experienced by other chemistries.
Once they've finished powering electric vehicles for hundreds of thousands of miles, it may not be the end of the road for automotive batteries. Five used Chevrolet Volt batteries are at the heart of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's effort to determine the feasibility of a community energy storage system that would put electricity onto the grid.
The Gulf of Mexico may have a much greater natural ability to self-clean oil spills than previously believed, according to Terry Hazen, University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor's Chair for Environmental Biotechnology. Hazen’s research team used a powerful new approach for identifying microbes in the environment to discover previously unknown and naturally occurring bacteria that consume and break down crude oil.
A technology being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory promises to provide clear images of the brains of children, the elderly, and people with Parkinson's and other diseases without the use of uncomfortable or intrusive restraints. Awake imaging provides motion compensation reconstruction, which removes blur caused by motion, allowing physicians to get a transparent picture of the functioning brain without anesthetics that can mask conditions and alter test results.
Jumping silicon atoms are the stars of an atomic scale ballet featured in a new Nature Communications study from the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE)'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The ORNL research team documented the atoms' unique behavior by first trapping groups of silicon atoms, known as clusters, in a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon called graphene.
Microbes from the human mouth are telling Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists something about periodontitis and more after they cracked the genetic code of bacteria linked to the condition. The research marks the first time scientists have managed to isolate and cultivate this type of bacterium.
The adsorption of ions in microporous materials governs the operation of a diverse range of technologies. Until now, however, researchers attempting to improve the performance of these technologies haven't been able to directly and unambiguously identify how factors such as pore size, pore surface chemistry, and electrolyte properties affect the concentration of ions in these materials as a function of the applied potential. A team of researchers has demonstrated that a technique, known as small angle neutron scattering, can be used to study the effects of ions moving into nanoscale pores.
By identifying two genes required for transforming inorganic into organic mercury, which is far more toxic, scientists today have taken a significant step toward protecting human health. The question of how methylmercury, an organic form of mercury, is produced by natural processes in the environment has stumped scientists for decades, but a team led by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has solved the puzzle.
Researchers seeking to improve production of ethanol from woody crops have a new resource in the form of an extensive molecular map of poplar tree proteins, published by a team from the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Looking toward improved batteries for charging electric cars and storing energy from renewable but intermittent solar and wind, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed the first high-performance, nanostructured solid electrolyte for more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries.
A technology invented at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for manufacturing copper-oxide-based high-temperature superconducting materials has been used to make an iron-based superconducting wire capable of carrying very high electrical currents under exceptionally high magnetic fields.
Changes in the R&D environment are driving research managers to look at different ways to support and grow their organizations.
2012 R&D Research Executive Roundtable answers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Changes in the R&D environment are driving research managers to look at different ways to support and grow their organizations.
Turning lignin, a plant's structural glue and a byproduct of the paper and pulp industry, into something considerably more valuable is driving a research effort headed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The research team has developed a process that ultimately transforms the lignin byproduct into a thermoplastic by reconstructing larger lignin molecules either through a chemical reaction with formaldehyde or by washing with methanol.
By tweaking the formula for growing oxide thin films, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory achieved virtual perfection at the interface of two insulator materials. The research team demonstrated that a single unit cell layer of lanthanum aluminate grown on a strontium titanate substrate is sufficient to stabilize a chemically and atomically sharp interface.
Electron microscopy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing unprecedented views of the individual atoms in graphene, offering scientists a chance to unlock the material's full potential for uses from engine combustion to consumer electronics. A research team used aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy to study the atomic and electronic structure of silicon impurities in graphene.