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By using computer-aided design and additive manufacturing, developers can improve the performance characteristics of geothermal tools, such as this optimized rotor design, and reduce production cost. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Additive manufacturing can make the design and production of specialized tools for geothermal energy cheaper and more efficient, according to a study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ORNL’s green solvent enables environmentally friendly recycling of valuable Li-ion battery materials. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a solvent that results in a more environmentally friendly process to recover valuable materials from used lithium-ion batteries, supports a stable domestic supply chain for new batteries and keeps old ones out of landfills.

ORNL and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists studied the formation of amorphous ice like the exotic ice found in interstellar space and on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory successfully created amorphous ice, similar to ice in interstellar space and on icy worlds in our solar system. They documented that its disordered atomic behavior is unlike any ice on Earth.

ORNL researchers developed an innovative insulation system that uses sensors and controls to exchange heat or coolness between a building and its thermal energy storage system, which maximizes energy savings. Credit: Andrew Sproles and Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a novel envelope system that diverts heat or coolness away from a building and stores it for future use.

ORNL, in collaboration with Cincinnati, Inc., used the Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine to 3D print a mold made of recycled thermoplastic composite and syntactic foam, demonstrating the potential for multimaterials in large-scale applications. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers, in collaboration with Cincinnati Inc., demonstrated the potential for using multimaterials and recycled composites in large-scale applications by 3D printing a mold that replicated a single facet of a precast concrete tool.

ORNL’s non-disruptive air leak detector captures air escaping from exterior walls and uses refractive imaging to calculate the leakage flow rate. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a method to detect and measure air leaking from a building’s walls and roof that is quicker, cheaper and less disruptive to occupants.

Scientists genetically engineered bacteria for itaconic acid production, creating dynamic controls that separate microbial growth and production phases for increased efficiency and acid yield. Credit: NREL

A research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory bioengineered a microbe to efficiently turn waste into itaconic acid, an industrial chemical used in plastics and paints.

ORNL researchers used fiber reinforcements made of steel, glass and carbon to develop a concrete mix that demonstrated high early strength within six hours of production, which is needed for the precast concrete industry. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee have developed a concrete mix that demonstrated high early strength within six hours of mixing, potentially doubling the production capacity for the precast industry.

The proposed Battery Identity Global Passport suggests a scannable QR code or other digital tag affixed to Li-ion batteries to identify materials for efficient end-of-life recycling. Credit: Andy Sproles, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have devised a method to identify the unique chemical makeup of every lithium-ion battery around the world, information that could accelerate recycling, recover critical materials and resolve a growing waste stream.

An ORNL-invented electrocatalyst made of custom-designed alloy nanoparticles embedded in carbon nanospikes was licensed by Prometheus Fuels and further developed to aid a process to convert solar and wind electricity into chemical energy for electrofuels. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

In a new twist to an existing award-winning ORNL technology, researchers have developed an electrocatalyst that enables water and carbon dioxide to be split and the atoms recombined to form higher weight hydrocarbons for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.