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  • Coastal wetlands are just one of dozens of environments where scientists found genes that transform mercury into the neurotoxin methylmercury. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Environmental Research Center/Grace Schwartz)

    Field widens for environments, microbes that produce toxic form of mercury

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 9, 2015 — Thawing permafrost and contaminated sediment in marine coastal areas pose some of the greatest risks for the production of highly toxic methylmercury, according to findings published in the journal Science Advances.

  • New additive manufacturing technologies are being explored at DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL.

    ORNL, Strangpresse LLC sign additive manufacturing patent license agreement

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 8, 2015—The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Strangpresse LLC of Youngstown, Ohio, have signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement on a portfolio of ORNL patents related to large-scale additive manufacturing.

  • An artist’s rendering of the five protein structures solved using neutrons shown on top of the MaNDi instrument detectors. Image credit - ORNL/DOE

    Neutrons help understand enzymes that could produce improvements in biomass processing

    October 7, 2015 — Plants and other biomass can be converted into a variety of renewable high-value products including carbon fibers, plastics, and liquid fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel that are beneficial for reducing petroleum use and vehicle emissions.

  • Laser spectroscopy of ultrathin semiconductor reveals rise of ‘trion’ quasiparticles

    October 7, 2015 - Quasiparticles—excitations that behave collectively like particles—are central to energy applications but can be difficult to detect. Recently, however, researchers have seen evidence of quasiparticles called negative trions forming and fading in a layer of semiconducting material that is 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

  • Materials - Accelerating discovery

    October 6, 2015 - Steady progress in the development of advanced materials has led to modern civilization’s foundational technologies—better batteries, resilient building materials and atom-scale semiconductors. Development of the next wave of materials, however, is being slowed by the sheer complexity of material systems at extremely small scales.

  • Nuclear - Molten salt reactor anniversary

    October 6, 2015 - Oak Ridge National Laboratory is marking the 50th anniversary of the startup of its Molten Salt Reactor Experiment this month. A workshop on molten salt reactor technologies Oct. 15-16 at ORNL will bring together government representatives, U.S.

  • Computing - Mining information

    October 6, 2015 - Harvesting oil, mitigating subsurface contamination, and sequestering carbon emissions share a common thread—they deal with multiphase flows, or situations where materials are flowing close together in different states (solids, liquids, or gases) or when the flow is comprised of materials that have a common state with a different chemica

  • Biofuels - High-octane payoff

    October 6, 2015 - Ethanol’s inherently high octane rating makes it attractive for meeting fuel economy and greenhouse gas targets and renewable fuel mandates, according to an Oak Ridge National Laboratory report.

  • Vehicles - Connected to efficiency

    October 6, 2015 - Collisions and congestion at intersections and where highways merge could be greatly reduced – even eliminated ­­– with a technology being developed by a team led by Andreas Malikopoulos, deputy director of the Urban Dynamics Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

  • A surfactant template guides the self-assembly of functional polymer structures in an aqueous solution. Image credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; image by Youngkyu Han and Renee Manning.

    ORNL researchers find ‘greener’ way to assemble materials for solar applications

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 5, 2015—The efficiency of solar cells depends on precise engineering of polymers that assemble into films 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

  • An ORNL-University of Rome study has delivered direct evidence of high-temperature superconductivity at the interface of two insulating oxide materials. Electron microscopy at ORNL showed that superconductivity arises from oxygen ions (circled in white) t

    ORNL microscopy finds evidence of high-temperature superconductivity in single layer

    September 30, 2015 – Electron microscopy at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is pointing researchers closer to the development of ultra-thin materials that transfer electrons with no resistance at relatively high temperatures.

  • From left, Nate Paul and Lawrence MacIntyre, inventors of Data Diode, had a chance to meet with Donald McGuire, CEO of Lock Data Solutions LLC, which has licensed the ORNL cybersecurity technology.

    New York cybersecurity company licenses ORNL’s Data Diode

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sept. 29, 2015 – Lock Data Solutions has licensed a technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed to protect a company’s data from internal and external threats.

  • ORNL demonstrates road to supercapacitors for scrap tires

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sept. 25, 2015 – Some of the 300 million tires discarded each year in the United States alone could be used in supercapacitors for vehicles and the electric grid using a technology developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Drexel University.

  • Material dissolved in the liquid at the port tip is immediately transported into the mass spectrometer, ionized, detected and characterized.

    ORNL chemical sampling interface features simplicity, speed

    In mere seconds, a system developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample, providing a valuable tool with applications in material science, forensics, pharmaceuticals, biology and chemistry.

  • By controlling the temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide in the test chambers, scientists hope to learn how microbial communities, moss populations, various higher plant types and some insect groups respond.

    DOE event marks beginning of landmark ecosystem experiment

    GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. Aug. 26, 2015 — Scientists are getting a glimpse of the future with a Department of Energy large-scale experiment designed to answer questions about how carbon-rich peatlands will respond to projected warming of the climate and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  • A new study published in Nature reassesses China’s carbon emissions from fossil fuels and cement production. Image credit - iStockphoto

    Carbon number crunching

    A booming economy and population led China to emerge in 2006 as the global leader in fossil-fuel carbon emissions, a distinction it still maintains. But exactly how much carbon China releases has been a topic of debate, with recent estimates varying by as much as 15 percent.

  • Beth Papanek, working with nutrients for bacterial growth, and Adam Guss are among the ORNL authors of a paper published in Metabolic Engineering.

    BESC creates microbe that bolsters isobutanol production

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 14, 2015 — Another barrier to commercially viable biofuels from sources other than corn has fallen with the engineering of a microbe that improves isobutanol yields by a factor of 10.

  • The “Big, Deep and Smart Data Analytics in Materials Imaging” workshop

    Eyes on the Prize

    In the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, the state of the art of materials science defined technology’s zenith and accelerated economies.

  • New ORNL hybrid microscope offers unparalleled capabilities

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 10, 2015 — A microscope being developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will allow scientists studying biological and synthetic materials to simultaneously observe chemical and physical properties on and beneath the surface.

  • Silica spiky screws could enhance industrial coatings, additive manufacturing

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 24, 2015 — It took marine sponges millions of years to perfect their spike-like structures, but research mimicking these formations may soon alter how industrial coatings and 3-D printed objects are produced.

  • 3-D printed Shelby Cobra highlights ORNL R&D at Detroit Auto Show

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Jan. 12, 2015—With a 3-D printed twist on an automotive icon, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is showcasing additive manufacturing research at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

  • Liu named ORNL's outstanding scientist

    Chain T. Liu, a senior corporate fellow of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has earned the laboratory Director's Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology.


    Liu's award was announced during ORNL's Awards Night event, held Oct. 29 at the Knoxville Marriott.

  • ORNL Director Thom Mason and Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre visited a Farragut High School classroom that is linked to West High School through distance learning equipment contributed by UT-Battelle.

    UT-Battelle investment expands academics in Knox schools

    September 24, 2015 - ORNL Director Thom Mason got an up-close look at the results of UT-Battelle’s investment in distance learning Thursday.

  • James White, Rod Stucker and James Rowland, winners of DOE's inaugural Buildings Crowdsourcing Community Campaign, joined GE Appliance’s Venkat Venkatakrishnan and DOE Assistant Secretary David Danielson for a panel discussion at EERE Industry Day at ORNL

    ORNL crowdsourcing site advances building technologies ideas to the market

    September 24, 2015 – Winners of the inaugural Buildings Crowdsourcing Community Campaign were announced today at the Department of Energy’s Industry Day event at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

  • Small businesses can apply to access expertise and specialized equipment at DOE’s national labs, including resources such as ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, through the Small Business Vouchers pilot website.

    Small businesses invited to participate in DOE national lab vouchers pilot

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sept. 23, 2015—Small businesses in the clean energy sector are invited to apply for assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories through the department’s new Small Business Vouchers Pilot.