Archived Story Tips for 2011
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Energy—Confronting a biofuel barrier . . .
New supercomputing simulations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are tackling a major bottleneck to cost-effective biofuel production.
Transportation—High tech yields high MPGs . . .
Of the top 10 fuel efficient vehicles made in 1984 to the present, half are available for sale in the 2012 model year, according to the latest ratings on www.fueleconomy.gov, a website developed and maintained by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.
Desalination—Clever conversion . . .
Superhydrophobic coatings developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could be the key to efficiently converting saltwater to freshwater.
Neutrons—'Imagine' data faster . . .
Imagine an instrument that collects thousands of diffraction data points in days instead of months with the help of a cylindrical image plate detector and an intense polychromatic neutron beam.
Materials—Carbon fiber lite . . .
Lignin-based carbon fiber for heat management of renewable energy systems offers excellent performance at a low cost and is the focus of a project between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and industry.
Cybersecurity—Foiling exfiltration . . .
Computer hackers could lose a huge advantage because of a system being developed by a team led by Justin Beaver of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Energy—Inexpensive renewable hydrogen . . .
Solar and wind energy could become more viable because of an innovation that produces a hydrogen stream of greater than 99 percent purity without using the more traditional proton-conducting polymers.
Magnetism—Chilling discovery . . .
Something odd happens when you expose the element gadolinium to a strong magnetic field: Its temperature jumps up.
Materials—Rebuffing temperatures . . .
Carefully combining materials that shrink when heated with materials that expand creates a material unaffected by extreme temperature.
Diesel—Greater expectations . . .
A recent study of diesel particulate filter performance has revealed positive news for manufacturers and industry, indicating longer service lifetime expectations than ever before.
Materials—Conductive at the core . . .
Adaptive one-dimensional wires operating at 1 volt could eventually pave the way for oxide electronics, such as electronic devices that mimic human brain function.
Racing—Green checkered flag . . .
Getting to the finish line quickest with the least environmental impact is what's driving the Green Racing initiative that has made its way to Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Sensors—Detection from afar . . .
A new instrument able to detect chemical residues from a distance overcomes a number of problems that have plagued laser-based detectors of the past, according to Marissa Morales of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division.
Software—BitTorrent tracker . . .
People who engage in illegal activities using the file sharing capabilities of BitTorrent could one day face prosecution because of a technology being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Cybersecurity—One step ahead . . .
Sophisticated hackers who have enjoyed recent success infiltrating high-profile companies might not have been so fortunate if a new Oak Ridge National Laboratory system had been in place.
Nanocomposites—Neutrons pierce polymers . . .
Industrial users from DuPont in Wilmington, Del., are working with neutron instruments at the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor to solve materials problems that can't be solved in any other way.
Coatings—Time to breakdown . . .
In medical treatment, doctors often prefer to deliver multiple therapeutic compounds to parts of the human body by varying the coatings on the drugs so they are released in a time-resolved manner.
Materials—Conquering corrosion . . .
A superhydrophobic coating developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could dramatically lessen a multi-billion dollar problem that affects underwater machines, watercraft, submarines, water intakes, offshore drilling rigs and countless other types of equipment and machinery.
Manufacturing—Stress relief . . .
Honeywell Turbo Technologies hopes to produce turbochargers with greater life expectancy and reliability through a project with the High Temperature Materials Laboratory User Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Physics—Thermal energy misconception . . .
Thermal energy in ordinary crystal materials takes the form of tiny atomic vibrations that ripple through the material in waves.
Neutron Science—Magnet power . . .
In a breakthrough for neutron science, scientists used a 30 Tesla pulsed magnet and the powerful pulsed neutron beam at the Spallation Neutron Source to probe the magnetic behavior of the multiferroic material manganese tungstate.
Energy—Cost-effective solar cells . . .
Polymer-based solar cells are attractive to solar energy developers because they are inexpensive and relatively easy to fabricate.
Supercomputing—Discoveries from simulations . . .
A special report highlights the accomplishments of researchers running large, complex and often unprecedented simulations on Department of Energy Office of Science supercomputers.
Physics—Fueling discovery . . .
To study questions of why the universe has matter, physicists can try to create another ‘Big Bang' somewhere and study how it evolves.
Materials—Films of remarkable order . . .
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are making new functional nanocomposite materials by inserting nanoparticles into asymmetric block copolymer films, resulting in promising new matrices on which such materials can be constructed.
Sensors—Palladium power . . .
Nano-sized palladium particles elevate the performance of a new hydrogen microsensor to an unprecedented level, according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Nickolay Lavrik.
Materials—Moving toward nanorobots . . .
Nanoscale robots that can flow through blood or repair complex electronics may yet be a possibility with the help of a new strategy developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Energy—Boost for industry . . .
Eliminating barriers to energy efficiency of U.S.
Materials—New band magnetism . . .
Rare earth elements vital to electric and hybrid vehicles and numerous other energy technologies could one day be replaced at least in part by compounds of heavy transition elements, a team of researchers has discovered.
Chemistry—Clean energy production . . .
Enterprises from energy production to environmental cleanup depend on chemistry.
Computational Chemistry—Converting biomass . . .
When converting corn into ethanol, a lot of lignin and cellulosic material is left over.
Chemistry—Cheaper olefins . . .
Separating olefins from paraffin in petroleum wastewater is a heavy expense for the petrochemical industry.
Materials—Unmasking elusive hydrogen . . .
Researchers used the SEQUOIA inelastic spectrometer at the Spallation Neutron Source to map the dynamics of hydrogen atoms in a natural crystal of muscovite.
Materials—Spintronic efficiency . . .
Spin valves are widely used in computing applications and are seen as a potentially revolutionary technology in applications such as memory chips and miniature chips and sensors.
Biomass—Cellulose breakdown . . .
Ionic liquids have emerged as promising new solvents capable of disrupting the cellulose crystalline structure in a wide range of biomass feedstocks.
Transportation—Screening for safety . . .
Unsafe commercial motor vehicles may be off the roads sooner with help from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led testing facility in Greene County, Tenn.
Microscopy—Virtual resonance . . .
High-resolution subsurface exploration could get a boost with innovative approaches that take advantage of the underlying dynamics of atomic force microscopy.
Climate—Informing decision makers . . .
Despite limitations at regional scales, climate models still provide useful information that should be considered by civil engineers and planners making decisions about infrastructure such as dams, power plants, oil refineries and water treatment plants.
Materials—Stir in extrusion tech . . .
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have achieved a friction-stir technology milestone by extruding aluminum-based wire in lengths up to 15 feet.
Materials—Nanodots to the rescue . . .
By applying the magnetic properties of iron nanodots to complex materials, a research team has overcome an obstacle to getting ultra-thin or highly strained films to perform on par with their bulk counterparts.
Computing—Parareal boost for fusion . . .
An application and algorithm tweaked by Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers to dramatically increase a supercomputer's functionality is providing fusion and climate researchers with the potential to solve problems faster than ever.
Materials—Details of disorder . . .
Ultrasonic imaging and submarine sonar technologies often rely on materials called ferroelectric relaxors, which are known for their unique electromechanical properties.
Military—H2O from diesel . . .
Capillary action and graphite foam are being enlisted by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to solve a logistical nightmare for the military and U.S.
Electronics—Plasmonic sensors . . .
Plasmonic, or metallic, nanostructures are one step closer to fulfilling their promise as next-generation sensors and devices for high-speed communications because of research performed by scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Fudan University.
Sensors—Thwarting tax evaders . . .
An estimated $1 billion in lost revenue each year is fueling an effort by Oak Ridge National Laboratory to prevent fuel tax evasions.
Climate—Extreme cold still in forecast . . .
Despite an overall warming trend, extreme cold events are still likely to persist for the next century, according to research published by Evan Kodra, Karsten Steinhaeuser and Auroop Ganguly of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Electronics—Phase transitions breakthrough . . .
By reducing a material to the same nano scale as the electronic regions that reside within, researchers have gained a better understanding of the dynamics of electronic phase transitions.
Vehicles—“Just in time” . . .
A newly patented technology from Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help extend the lifetime of batteries in plug-in hybrid vehicles by optimizing the battery's state of charge while driving.
Climate—Icy behavior . . .
When a Rhode-Island-sized ice chunk separates from Greenland, is the calving due to typical seasonal variations or a long-term warmer world? A project called the Scalable, Efficient, and Accurate Community Ice Sheet Model, or SEACISM, on the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, aims to use state-of-the-art simulation to predict the behavior of ice sheets under a changing climate.
ENERGY—Simulating gasification . . .
A process called gasification can turn carbonaceous fuels—coal, petroleum, or biomass—into syngas, a cleaner-burning fuel mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
CYBERSECURITY—Software agents on assignment . . .
Tracking and protecting information stored on an organization's network could be more secure with a system developed by a team led by Justin Beaver of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Computational Sciences and Engineering Division.
ENERGY—Ocean power . . .
Electricity generated by the ocean is gaining steam with a demonstration plant off the coast of Kona, Hawaii.
BIOMEDICAL—Informatics and analytics . . .
Making the most of biomedical imaging data will be a huge focus for dozens of professionals participating in the 3rd Annual Biomedical Science and Engineering Conference March 15-17.
Hydropower—Fishy behavior . . .
Proposals to install hydrokinetic turbines – like underwater windmills – in rivers across the U.S.
Biology—Database a likely lifesaver . . .
Highly effective anti-virus programs for computers are providing the inspiration for a system to protect people from deadly genetically engineered biological bugs.
Sensors—Setting standards . . .
By testing radiation detection equipment and helping establish national and international standards, a team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers protects the people who keep the nation safe.
Fusion—Intense neutron detectives . . .
What does it take to withstand the conditions of ITER, the world's largest fusion energy reactor? Neutron scattering is one way to find out.
Forensics—The telltale bone . . .
Technology developed more than 100 years ago to wirelessly transmit electricity is being adapted to locate clandestine graves.
Electricity—Eye on the grid . . .
Through a network that consists of hundreds of low-cost monitors that plug into standard 110-volt outlets, GridEye can play a role in ensuring the reliability of the nation's power grids.
Batteries—Nanoscale mapping . . .
A nanoscale view into the inner workings of lithium-ion batteries could yield critical clues to overall battery performance.
Supercomputing—Pairing up in a nucleus . . .
We are all familiar with the change water goes through under the influence of falling temperatures, evolving from a disordered liquid to an ordered solid.