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ORNL researchers are establishing a digital thread of data, algorithms and workflows to produce a continuously updated model of earth systems.

Digital twins are exactly what they sound like: virtual models of physical reality that continuously update to reflect changes in the real world.


2023 Battelle Distinguished Inventors

Four scientists affiliated with ORNL were named Battelle Distinguished Inventors during the lab’s annual Innovation Awards on Dec. 1 in recognition of being granted 14 or more United States patents.

A small droplet of water is suspended in midair via an electrostatic levitator that lifts charged particles using an electric field that counteracts gravity. Credit: Iowa State University/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

How do you get water to float in midair? With a WAND2, of course. But it’s hardly magic. In fact, it’s a scientific device used by scientists to study matter.

A new method for analyzing climate models brings together information from various lines of evidence to represent Earth’s climate sensitivity. Credit: Jason Smith/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers from institutions including ORNL have created a new method for statistically analyzing climate models that projects future conditions with more fidelity.

(Right to left) Carbon capture by aqueous glycine: the amino acid’s attack on carbon dioxide (reactant state) is strongly influenced by the water dynamics, leading to a slow transition to an intermediate state. In the next step, due to reduced nonequilibrium solvent effects, a proton is rapidly released leading to the product state. Credit: Santanu Roy/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Recent research by ORNL scientists focused on the foundational steps of carbon dioxide sequestration using aqueous glycine, an amino acid known for its absorbent qualities.

Frontier, the fastest supercomputer in the world, provides expansive and energy-efficient power, which gives scientists the capability to train large AI models in a responsible way.

ORNL is home to the world's fastest exascale supercomputer, Frontier, which was built in part to facilitate energy-efficient and scalable AI-based algorithms and simulations. 

ORNL’s Climate Change Science Institute and Georgia Tech co-hosted a Southeast Decarbonization Workshop in November 2023. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL's Climate Change Science Institute and the Georgia Institute of Technology hosted a Southeast Decarbonization Workshop in November that drew scientists and representatives from government, industry, non-profits and other organizations to strategize about clean energy opportunities unique to the southeastern United States.

ORNL researchers Lu Yu and Yaocai Bai examine vials that contain a chemical solution that causes the cobalt and lithium to separate from a spent battery, followed by a second stage when cobalt precipitates in the bottom. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Used lithium-ion batteries from cell phones, laptops and a growing number of electric vehicles are piling up, but options for recycling them remain limited mostly to burning or chemically dissolving shredded batteries.

benjmain Manard portrait

Benjamin Manard has been selected to receive the 2023 JAAS Emerging Investigator Lectureship

Front row: Victoria DiStefano and Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe of DOE toured the SPRUCE experiment with Natalie Griffiths, Melanie Mayes, and Verity Salmon; back row: Dave Weston, Stephen Sebestyen (US Forest Service), Jonathan Stelling, Mark Guilliams, John Latimer (ORNL contractor), Kyle Pearson and Paul Hanson. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The first climate scientist to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, recently visited two ORNL-led field research facilities in Minnesota and Alaska to witness how these critically important projects are informing our understanding of the future climate and its impact on communities.