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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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Distinguished Inventors

Six scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory were named Battelle Distinguished Inventors, in recognition of obtaining 14 or more patents during their careers at the lab.

ORNL researchers have developed a new class of cobalt-free cathodes called NFA that are being investigated for making lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replace the costly cobalt-based cathodes typically found in today’s lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

Drawing of air taxi

If air taxis become a viable mode of transportation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have estimated they could reduce fuel consumption significantly while alleviating traffic congestion.

A Co-Optima research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jim Szybist in collaboration with Argonne, Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, created a merit function tool that evaluates six fuel properties and their impact on engine performance, giving the scientific community a guide to quickly evaluate biofuels. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

As ORNL’s fuel properties technical lead for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuel and Engines, or Co-Optima, initiative, Jim Szybist has been on a quest for the past few years to identify the most significant indicators for predicting how a fuel will perform in engines designed for light-duty vehicles such as passenger cars and pickup trucks.

Fungi use signaling molecules called LCOs to communicate with each other and to regulate growth. Credit: Jessy Labbe/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators have discovered that signaling molecules known to trigger symbiosis between plants and soil bacteria are also used by almost all fungi as chemical signals to communicate with each other.

Diverse evidence shows that plants and soil will likely capture and hold more carbon in response to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to an analysis published by an international research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Diverse evidence shows that plants and soil will likely capture and hold more carbon in response to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to an analysis published by an international research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Researchers Adam Guss and Melissa Tumen-Velasquez work with microbes to understand how the organisms consume plastics and break them into chemical components that can be used to make higher-value products.

From soda bottles to car bumpers to piping, electronics, and packaging, plastics have become a ubiquitous part of our lives. 

Six ORNL scientists have been elected as fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Six ORNL scientists have been elected as fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

Paul Kent, shown above posing with Summit in April 2018, received the 2020 ORNL Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The annual Director's Awards recognized four individuals and teams including awards for leadership in quantum simulation development and application on high-performance computing platforms, and revolutionary advancements in the area of microbial isolation techniques. Two awards were specific to the COVID-19 pandemic: one given in recognition for ensuring the safety for ORNL staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and another for the rapid development and deployment of melt blowing and charging technology to enable domestic production of N95 media.

ORNL Sign

Seven ORNL scientists have been named among the 2020 Highly Cited Researchers list, according to Clarivate, a data analytics firm that specializes in scientific and academic research.