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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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Costas Tsouris portrait

While Tsouris’ water research is diverse in scope, its fundamentals are based on basic science principles that remain largely unchanged, particularly in a mature field like chemical engineering.

Water and energy are inextricably linked, yet in our 20th-century water systems we use freshwater once then throw it away. With innovations designed to enhance desalination technologies, agricultural runoff, produced water from industry, and inland brackish groundwater that are now seen as untreatable could all be sources of clean, safe, and affordable water.

The National Alliance for Water Innovation, a partnership of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, other national labs, university and private sector partners, has been awarded a five-year, $100 million Energy-Water Desalination Hub by DOE to address water security issues in the United States.

Desalination process

A new method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory improves the energy efficiency of a desalination process known as solar-thermal evaporation. 

Materials—Engineering heat transport

Scientists have discovered a way to alter heat transport in thermoelectric materials, a finding that may ultimately improve energy efficiency as the materials convert heat flow into electricity.

Desalination diagram

A team of scientists led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory used carbon nanotubes to improve a desalination process that attracts and removes ionic compounds such as salt from water using charged electrodes.

To develop complex materials with superior properties, Vera Bocharova uses diverse methods including broadband dielectric spectroscopy. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; photographer Jason Richards

Vera Bocharova at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigates the structure and dynamics of soft materials—polymer nanocomposites, polymer electrolytes and biological macromolecules—to advance materials and technologies for energy, medicine and other applications.

ORNL alanine_graphic.jpg

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Jan. 31, 2019—A new electron microscopy technique that detects the subtle changes in the weight of proteins at the nanoscale—while keeping the sample intact—could open a new pathway for deeper, more comprehensive studies of the basic building blocks of life. 

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists studying fuel cells as a potential alternative to internal combustion engines used sophisticated electron microscopy to investigate the benefits of replacing high-cost platinum with a lower cost, carbon-nitrogen-manganese-based catalyst.