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Biofuels, such as those derived from the switchgrass being harvested in this field in Vonore, Tennessee, are just one of the technology-based solutions that ORNL summit participants identified recently as key to decarbonizing the agriculture sector. Credit: Erin G. Webb, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Energy and sustainability experts from ORNL, industry, universities and the federal government recently identified key focus areas to meet the challenge of successfully decarbonizing the agriculture sector

This protein drives key processes for sulfide use in many microorganisms that produce methane, including Thermosipho melanesiensis. Researchers used supercomputing and deep learning tools to predict its structure, which has eluded experimental methods such as crystallography.  Credit: Ada Sedova/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Georgia Institute of Technology is using supercomputing and revolutionary deep learning tools to predict the structures and roles of thousands of proteins with unknown functions.

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation has licensed a novel method to 3D print highly resistant components for use in nuclear reactor designs. USNC Executive Vice President Kurt Terrani, formerly of ORNL, said the novel method will allow the company to make parts with desired complex shapes more efficiently. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A novel method to 3D print components for nuclear reactors, developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been licensed by Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation.

Using quantum Monte Carlo methods, the researchers simulated bulk VO2. Yellow and turquoise represent changes in electron density between the excited and ground states of a compound composed of oxygen, in red, and vanadium, in blue, which allowed them to evaluate how an oxygen vacancy, in white, can alter the compound’s properties. Credit: Panchapakesan Ganesh/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Neuromorphic devices — which emulate the decision-making processes of the human brain — show great promise for solving pressing scientific problems, but building physical systems to realize this potential presents researchers with a significant

ORNL’s Eva Zarkadoula seeks piezoelectric materials for sensors that can withstand irradiation, which causes cascading collisions that displace atoms and produces defects. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To advance sensor technologies, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers studied piezoelectric materials, which convert mechanical stress into electrical energy, to see how they could handle bombardment with energetic neutrons.

ORNL is making underused or inaccessible bioenergy data available to accelerate innovation for the bioeconomy. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory has identified and improved the usability of data that can help accelerate innovation for the growing bioeconomy.

ORNL researchers proved that COVID-19 vaccines can be kept ultra-cool for an extended period in a retrofitted commercial storage container, providing a resource for safe delivery to remote locations. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have retrofitted a commercial refrigeration container designed to ensure COVID-19 vaccines remain at ultra-low temperatures during long transport and while locally stored.

Mo Khaleel

Moe Khaleel has been selected to lead the National Sciences Security Directorate, or NSSD, at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Quantum Computational Science image

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, research at ORNL in 2021 continued apace, with developments across the lab’s broad science and technology missions. Among our most popular news stories in the past year:

Susan Hubbard has been named Deputy for Science and Technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Susan Hubbard, an acclaimed scientific leader and researcher, has been named Deputy for Science and Technology at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her appointment is effective March 1, 2022.