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The ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor, shown in green, envelops the roots of a transgenic switchgrass plant. Switchgrass is not known to interact with this type of fungi naturally; the added PtLecRLK1 gene tells the plant to engage the fungus. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy
An ORNL team has successfully introduced a poplar gene into switchgrass, an important biofuel source, that allows switchgrass to interact with a beneficial fungus, ultimately boosting the grass’ growth and viability in changing environments.
ORNL researchers developed a novel process for manufacturing extreme heat resistant carbon-carbon composites at a faster rate and produced fins or strakes made of the materials for testing on a U.S. Navy rocket launching with NASA. Credit: ORNL, Sandia/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a novel process to manufacture extreme heat resistant carbon-carbon composites. The performance of these materials will be tested in a U.S. Navy rocket that NASA will launch this fall.

Environmental scientist John Field uses ecosystem models to analyze sustainable methods for growing crops such as switchgrass. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

For ORNL environmental scientist and lover of the outdoors John Field, work in ecosystem modeling is a profession with tangible impacts.

ORNL researchers are examining ways to increase the amount of carbon sequestered in soils by crops such as switchgrass. Credit: Jason Richards/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Nearly a billion acres of land in the United States is dedicated to agriculture, producing more than a trillion dollars of food products to feed the country and the world. Those same agricultural processes, however, also produced an estimated 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hope Corsair. Credit: Carlos Jones, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

When Hope Corsair’s new colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory ask her about her area of expertise, she tells them it’s “context.” Her goal as an energy economist is to make sure ORNL’s breakthroughs have the widest possible

The 3D printed concrete smart wall installed at ORNL over the summer was monitored for energy efficiency, with preliminary results showing a minimum of 8% cost savings. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated that cooling cost savings could be achieved with a 3D printed concrete smart wall following a three-month field test.

Eli Levine, program manager for the DOE Better Plants Program, interacts with steel manufacturing energy management team members during a site assessment. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

As the United States transitions to clean energy, the country has an ambitious goal: cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by the year 2030, if not before. One of the solutions to help meet this challenge is found at ORNL as part of the Better Plants Program.

Automated disassembly line aims to make battery recycling safer, faster

Researchers at ORNL have developed a robotic disassembly system for spent electric vehicle battery packs to safely and efficiently recycle and reuse critical materials while reducing toxic waste.

ORNL metabolic engineer Adam Guss develops genetic tools to modify microbes that can perform a range of processes needed to create sustainable biofuels and bioproducts. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

As a metabolic engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Adam Guss modifies microbes to perform the diverse processes needed to make sustainable biofuels and bioproducts.

An ORNL research team is investigating new catalysts for ethanol conversion that could advance the cost-effective production of renewable transportation. Credit: Unsplash

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new catalyst for converting ethanol into C3+ olefins – the chemical