Electronics - New transistor on the block
November 01, 2000 — Nano-transistors 10 times smaller than conventional ones and being developed at ORNL could change the complexion of the electronics industry. Transistors, which can be used as amplifiers, detectors or switches, are integral parts of computers, telephones and virtually all electronic components.
Environment - Manure: The other energy resource
November 01, 2000 — Manure from the hundreds of millions of farm animals is a big problem, but it's one that, with some work, could become a strong renewable energy resource. As farm animal production has become more concentrated, handling the manure and run-off have become a serious problem.
Energy - Fuel of the future?
November 01, 2000 — Methane hydrate isn't a familiar term to most people, but it's gaining popularity in the energy sector. Researchers believe there may be enough of this resource, which is methane locked in ice-like crystals, to supply energy for perhaps hundreds of years. Methane hydrates, which form at low temperatures and high pressure, are found in sea floor sediments and the arctic permafrost.
Environment - Solving the mercury mystery
November 01, 2000 — In a project called Metaalicus, researchers at ORNL hope to learn once and for all what happens to fish mercury concentrations when there is a change in the levels of mercury released into the environment. Despite massive amounts of scientific information published on mercury contamination, there remain very basic questions about the environmental behavior and effects of mercury.
Energy - Super-efficient water heater
October 01, 2000 — With water heating consuming about 17 percent of the energy for a typical household, it's a good place to start when cutting costs. ORNL's Building Technology Center is assisting in developing a heat pump water heater as a "drop-in" replacement for a conventional 50- or 80-gallon water heater.
Nuclear Energy - Next-generation safe power plants
October 01, 2000 — An ORNL team will receive more than $1.1 million over the next three years to develop technology for reliable and automatic forewarning of failure in critical equipment at next-generation nuclear power plants. Such forewarning would allow timely maintenance to reduce unanticipated shutdown time and improve plant safety.
Health - Lifesaver in the battlefield
October 01, 2000 — Many soldiers who die in battle could perhaps be saved if outfitted with a sensor system that could capture and identify noises generated within the chest. While the majority of combat casualties are the result of injuries that cannot be treated, a significant number die from the presence of air, gas or blood in their chest.
Physics - Two protons at a time
October 01, 2000 — Researchers at the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility recently chalked up a physics "first": the simultaneous emission of two protons from an atom's decaying nucleus. The finding, based on preliminary experiments with the Holifield Facility's unique fluorine-17 beam, also represents a new type of radioactivity.
Medical - SeizAlert to the rescue
July 01, 2000 — ORNL researchers are developing a system that would provide an eight- to 50-minute warning before an epileptic seizure, giving a person time to take appropriate action. The system uses dime-size scalp electrodes that relay electroencephalographic signals to a computer for analysis. A warning alert would be sent when the computer detects a significant nonlinear change from non-seizure brain waves.
Chemistry - Micromixing the easy way
July 01, 2000 — In many of today's chemical applications, efficient mixing is critical to achieve product quality and uniformity, and ORNL engineers have devised a better way to do the mixing. The electrohydrodynamic micromixing reactor uses a specially designed electrified injection nozzle that mixes the chemicals instantly as they are introduced.