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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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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.

Electro-Active Tech license signing ceremony

Electro-Active Technologies, Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., has exclusively licensed two biorefinery technologies invented and patented by the startup’s co-founders while working at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The technologies work as a system that converts organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel.

Heat impact map

A detailed study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimated how much more—or less—energy United States residents might consume by 2050 relative to predicted shifts in seasonal weather patterns 

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.

Trees in an Oak Ridge National Laboratory plot

Higher carbon dioxide levels caused 30 percent more wood growth in young forest stands across the temperate United States over a decade, according to an analysis led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ORNL will use state-of-the-art R&D tools at the Battery Manufacturing Facility to develop new methods for separating and reclaiming valuable materials from spent EV batteries.

The use of lithium-ion batteries has surged in recent years, starting with electronics and expanding into many applications, including the growing electric and hybrid vehicle industry. But the technologies to optimize recycling of these batteries have not kept pace.

Researchers used machine learning methods on the ORNL Compute and Data Environment for Science, or CADES, to map vegetation communities in the Kougarok Watershed on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. The colors denote different types of vegetation, such as w

A team of scientists led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory used machine learning methods to generate a high-resolution map of vegetation growing in the remote reaches of the Alaskan tundra.

Infected Poplar

Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species’ inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.

Methanogen_mercury_study3.jpg

Biologists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have confirmed that microorganisms called methanogens can transform mercury into the neurotoxin methylmercury with varying efficiency across species.

Methanotroph_OB3b_cells

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has identified a novel microbial process that can break down toxic methylmercury in the environment, a fundamental scientific discovery that could potentially reduce mercury toxicity levels and sup...