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Blue sky above ORNL campus.

ORNL and three partnering institutions have received $4.2 million over three years to apply artificial intelligence to the advancement of complex systems in which human decision making could be enhanced via technology.

stacked poplar logs

Popular wisdom holds tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass, but new research by two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories reveals that is only part of the equation.

EERE Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons, center right, with ORNL’s Xin Sun, EERE Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Fitzsimmons and ORNL’s Moe Khaleel, helped launch new capabilities to advance connected and automated vehicle technologies at the DOE National Transportation Research Center at ORNL. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL and Department of Energy officials dedicated the launch of two clean energy research initiatives that focus on the recycling and recovery of advanced manufacturing materials and on connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

An interactive visualization shows potential progression of BECCS to address carbon dioxide reduction goals. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The combination of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage could cost-effectively sequester hundreds of millions of metric tons per year of carbon dioxide in the United States, making it a competitive solution for carbon management, according to a new analysis by ORNL scientists.

Zhenglong Li, an ORNL scientist in the Energy and Transportation Science Division, holds a sample of a catalyst material used to covert ethanol into butene-rich mixed olefins, important intermediates that can then be readily processed into aviation fuels. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Prometheus Fuels has licensed an ethanol-to-jet-fuel conversion process developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The ORNL technology will enable cost-competitive production of jet fuel and co-production of butadiene for use in renewable polymer synthesis.

Light moves through a fiber and stimulates the metal electrons in nanotip into collective oscillations called surface plasmons, assisting electrons to leave the tip. This simple electron nano-gun can be made more versatile via different forms of material composition and structuring. Credit: Ali Passian/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at ORNL and the University of Nebraska have developed an easier way to generate electrons for nanoscale imaging and sensing, providing a useful new tool for material science, bioimaging and fundamental quantum research.

ORNL scientists have optimized the Pseudomonas putida bacterium to digest five of the most abundant components of lignocellulosic biomass simultaneously, supporting a highly efficient conversion process to create renewable fuels and chemicals from plants. Credit: Alli Werner/NREL,U.S. Dept of Energy

ORNL scientists have modified a single microbe to simultaneously digest five of the most abundant components of lignocellulosic biomass, a big step forward in the development of a cost-effective biochemical conversion process to turn plants into renewable fuels and chemicals.

A selfie from the Curiosity rover as it explores the surface of Mars. Like many spacecraft, Curiosity uses a radioisotope power system to help fuel its mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Radioactive isotopes power some of NASA’s best-known spacecraft. But predicting how radiation emitted from these isotopes might affect nearby materials is tricky

ORNL researchers developed a quantum, or squeezed, light approach for atomic force microscopy that enables measurement of signals otherwise buried by noise. Credit: Raphael Pooser/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers at ORNL used quantum optics to advance state-of-the-art microscopy and illuminate a path to detecting material properties with greater sensitivity than is possible with traditional tools.

Paul Abraham uses mass spectrometry to study proteins.

Systems biologist Paul Abraham uses his fascination with proteins, the molecular machines of nature, to explore new ways to engineer more productive ecosystems and hardier bioenergy crops.