Mr. Janke received a B.S. in chemistry from Appalachian State Univ., Boone, NC, in 1983 and an M.S. in chemistry from the Univ. of TN, Knoxville, in 1986. He was employed by Milliken and Co. from 1986-88 as a Development Engineer responsible for the development and formulation of new adhesive systems and reinforcement fabrics. Since 1988 he has been employed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Distinguished Scientist and initiated, planned and managed several major research projects in the areas of polymer matrix composites and process engineering; radiation processing and radiation grafting; composite heat damage; adsorbent development for the extraction of uranium and other metals from seawater; materials compatibility on plastics, elastomers and composites; electron beam processing of lithium-ion battery materials; synthesis of carbon fiber polyacrylonitrile precursors and aramid materials, fiber spinning, fiber conversion, characterization and testing; carbon capture adsorbents, upcycling of thermoset materials, petroleum mesophase pitch fibers and mats and many classified projects.
Chris has published extensively in a variety of technical areas and formally presented his work at many national and international conferences and workshops. He has over 80 publications and several pending publications; 5 R&D 100 Awards; 1 R&D 100 Special Recognition: Green Tech Award; 1 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award; 3 technical achievement awards; 12 patents and several pending patents; 3 commercial licenses; and over 60 technical reports and milestone reports. He also planned and coordinated four workshops on electron beam curing of composites, chaired several conference sessions on composites, mentored numerous post-doctoral research associates and students, participated in 4 professional societies, and is recognized in “Who’s Who in Polymers and Plastics”.
In 2020-2023 Chris developed some novel, high surface area, carbon-based and polymer-based adsorbent materials for direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 with building air handling equipment for mitigating climate change and limiting global warming. In this DOE-Fossil Energy sponsored project he demonstrated the feasibility of using existing building air conditioning and ventilation equipment and deploying his newly developed adsorbent materials to remove CO2 directly from the building ventilation air streams. In a similar project, Chris developed new and structurally robust textile nonwoven materials incorporating Georgia Tech’s previously developed adsorbent material, which was combined with 3D printed structured contactors for economically capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and having high adsorption capacity and increased volumetric productivity.
During 2020-2023 Chris developed novel structural polymer composite coating materials, deposition methods and non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques in support of a DOE-ARPA-E project for rehabilitating and interrogating natural gas distribution pipes. The polymer composite coating materials included newly developed, fiber-reinforced epoxy materials and the NDE techniques included a Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) instrument, which can track the gelling/curing kinetics and assess the quality control of the resin system formulation.
From 2020-2021 Chris developed new chemistries for upcycling thermoset polyesters for deconstruction into oligomers that in turn can be assembled to develop higher-performance products. This project involved the coordination of experimental designs and irradiation experiments at the University of Maryland, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and ORNL on a variety of thermoset polyester resin systems and subsequent characterization activities of irradiated thermoset polyester resin systems.
In 2019-2022 Chris conducted physical and thermal property testing on a wide variety of elastomers, plastics, corks and polymeric coated metallic samples after exposure to several biomass derived oils. This project was funded by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and involved collaboration with NREL, PNNL, INL, ANL, CanmetENERGY (Natural Resources Canada/Government of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario) and other organizations.
During 2007-2022 Chris conducted materials compatibility studies on over 100 different transportation fuels, including ethanol, isobutanol, diesel fuel, bio-oil and blendstock molecules on a wide range of plastic, elastomer, cork and composite materials. In these DOE-funded projects, he conducted rate dependent degradation studies of mechanical, chemical, thermal and physical properties and worked closely with DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), NREL and Butamax® Advanced Biofuels LLC (a joint venture between BP and DuPont) to provide technical information on materials issues related to fuel dispensers, underground piping, storage tanks and fuel handling systems that operate under dynamic conditions.
From 2015-2019 Chris developed electron beam curable binder materials for reducing the cost of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries and increasing their energy density. In this DOE-VTO funded project, Chris successfully completed several high-speed, electron beam curing experiments at line speeds of 500 feet per minute on cathode materials using PCT-Comet’s electron beam pilot line, which were significantly faster than conventional or UV processing methods and were the highest line speeds ever demonstrated for cathode materials. In addition, Chris developed solventless processing methods for processing thick electron-beam cured cathodes for producing higher density lithium-ion batteries. Cost and energy calculations demonstrated that EB processing offers a potential cost advantage of around two orders of magnitude over conventional or UV processing, and its energy advantage may be up to three orders of magnitude in high volume battery production. Chris also procured and co-authored performance specifications for a roll-to-roll Electron beam pilot line machine that was manufactured by PCT Ebeam and Integration, LLC in Davenport, Iowa, which was installed in 2020 at ORNL’s DOE Battery Manufacturing R&D Facility (BMF). This $1.1 million, 120-300 keV, self-shielded and nitrogen inerted machine features a “Clamshell” design, unwind/rewind capability and a 15.7-inch wide usable beam width and delivers a 60 kGy dose at a line speed of 12.5 m/min. (41 fpm) at 300 keV. This machine will serve as a test bed for reducing the manufacturing costs for making lithium-ion batteries as well as other future projects. In 2022 he received an R&D 100 Award for “RapidCure: High-Speed Electron Beam Processing of Battery Electrodes”, an R&D 100 Special Recognition: Green Tech Award (Silver) for “RapidCure: High-Speed Electron Beam Processing of Battery Electrodes”, and a Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) – Excellence in Technology Award for “ORNL Partners with Ateios Systems Through License for Paper-Thin, Customizable Batteries”.
From 2010-2017 Chris served as principal investigator on the development, synthesis and testing of fiber, foam and powder adsorbents for extracting uranium and other metals from seawater that have a high capacity, selectivity, durability and rapid loading and elution kinetics. In this DOE-NE funded project Chris managed subcontracts with several fiber, textile and irradiation companies; and conducted extensive collaborations with many organizations, including ORNL, PNNL, LBNL, LANL, BNL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, numerous universities and with scientists and engineers from China and Japan including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai's Institute of Applied Physics and Japan's Atomic Energy Research Institute. In 2017 he received a UT-Battelle Team Award for his work on Uranium Extraction from Seawater. In 2016 he received an R&D 100 Award for the “U-Grabber,” which is an adsorbent material designed to extract uranium and other metals from water inexpensively and efficiently. In 2012 he received an R&D 100 Award for the development of “HiCap Adsorbents,” which demonstrated the world’s highest uranium adsorption capacity from seawater (5X times higher in capacity than previous adsorbents described in the literature since the 1960s).
During the 1990s and 2000s, Chris served as principal investigator, project manager, and task leader on over 25 projects on electron beam curing of polymer matrix composites and adhesives, including one of the largest multi-organizational CRADA ever signed, a 3-year, 7-million dollar DOE-sponsored partnership entitled, “Electron Beam Curing of Polymer Matrix Composites”, involving 10 industrial companies and three DOE laboratories. For over 15 years, Chris developed, formulated, and characterized hundreds of electron beam curable cationic epoxy resins systems for various composite and adhesive applications. In this work, he also conducted research in the areas of processing development, low-cost tooling development, prototype manufacture, curing kinetics, fiber/matrix interface optimization, and economic studies. He also served as principal investigator on a 3-year, 3.2-million-dollar DOE-sponsored CRADA entitled, “Interfacial Properties of Electron Beam Cured Composites”, involving 11 industrial companies, the US Air Force, US Army, and NASA. In 1997 he received an R&D 100 Award for “Electron-Beam-Curable Cationic Epoxy Resins”, a 1997 Lockheed Martin Technical Achievement Award for “Creating Major Breakthroughs in Composites Materials Processing Using Electron Beam Energy for Curing,” and a 1998 AMSE Technological Achievement Award for “Electron-Beam Curable Cationic Epoxy Resins”.
For over 20 years, Chris served as project manager on many Navy, Air Force and Office of Naval Research funded projects concerned with the residual mechanical, physical, thermal, and chemical properties characterization of heat damaged composites. These projects resulted in the successful development of the world’s only known nondestructive inspection spectroscopic techniques that possess the unique capability of detecting and quantifying heat damage in composites. In 2008, R&D efforts culminated in the successful development, demonstration, and transition of the first-of-its-kind, commercially available, nondestructive Laser-Induced Fluorescence (LIF) Composite Heat Damage Detector that provides highly accurate and rapid heat damage assessments of fiber-reinforced composites. The LIF instrument is user-friendly, lightweight, portable, and highly reliable and is currently being used at various Navy Repair Depots in support of several aircraft platforms. In 2008 he received an R&D 100 Award for the “Laser-Induced Fluorescence Composite Heat Damage Detector”.
Chris has also held a DOE Q clearance during his entire career at ORNL and has worked on a wide variety of classified projects and completed many critical milestones and deliverables.
Chris has also worked on numerous other projects during his career at ORNL that were funded by DOE, DoD and private industry, including:
- Development of new ideas for reducing drying costs for cellulose nanofibrils (CNF);
- Development, processing and testing of new elastomer formulations;
- Development and characterization of new epoxy resin formulations;
- Neutron imaging of polymers to determine surface contributions to permeation (DOE - Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO));
- Reduction of CO2 emissions through lightweight SMC body panels in support of Volkswagen’s new Atlas SUV (organizations include: ORNL, IACMI, VW, Purdue Univ., Michigan St. Univ., UTK);
- Long-lived polymer electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries;
- Super hard surfaced polymers produced via high energy, heavy-ion beam irradiation;
- Interfacial optimization of carbon fiber composites containing polyesters, vinyl esters and thermoplastic resin systems;
- Non-contact, non-destructive cure state measurement of adhesives, sealants and coatings using Laser-Induced Fluorescence spectroscopy;
- High performance centrifuges for uranium enrichment;
- Composite parts for the U.S. Navy’s Seawolf Submarine;
- High temperature superconductivity;
- Development of low-cost carbon fibers, including radiation stabilization of polyacrylonitrile fibers;
- Laser cutting of carbon fibers;
- Fusion bonded epoxy coatings for gas and liquid pipelines;
- New and faster method for manufacturing carbon-carbon composites;
- Carbon nanomaterials;
- Rapid composite preform manufacturing methods including the programmable, powdered perform process (P4) and slurry process;
- Resin preform permeability;
- Insulation materials for Compact Ignition Tokamak Fusion Machine;
- Fabrication of composite overwrapped metal tubes;
- Durability studies of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites for automotive applications, including carbon/polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) composites;
- Advanced power transmission composite conductors;
- Lightweight, low-noise composite housings for U.S. Army power generators;
- U.S. Army’s Fiber Optic Guided Missile program;
- Elastomeric O-ring investigations in support of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) facility;
- Radiation shielding materials for outer space applications;
- Hydrogen storage materials;
- Composite materials investigation in support of Oak Ridge’s Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Incinerator;
- Safety analysis reports in support of the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (AVLIS) Program.
- Served as a member of DOE’s Tiger Team in the early 1990’s which included inspecting a very large number of buildings and structures at the K-25 site in Oak Ridge, TN.
Chris has experience in a wide range of composite processing methods, radiation grafting and processing methods, NDE techniques and analytical techniques including oven, autoclave, electron beam, X-ray and gamma radiation processing; adhesive bonding, hand lay-up, filament winding, fiber/tape placement, RTM, VARTM, pultrusion, compression molding, honeycomb/sandwich composites, rotational molding, RIM, injection molding, and textile processing (braiding, weaving, knitting); ultrasonics, leaky-lamb waves, DMA, DSC, TGA, laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), FTIR, ATR, DRIFT and UV-Vis spectroscopy, NMR, rheometry, ICP, SEM/EDX, EPR, GPC/SEC and elemental analysis. He has also had extensive interactions and collaborations with a variety of: DOE, DoD and industrial companies; aerospace, automotive and marine companies; resin, fiber, prepreg and tooling manufacturers; and university researchers and international collaborators, including Chinese, Japanese, Canadian, French and Turkish scientists and engineers.
Areas of Research:
Polymer Matrix Composites; Radiation Processing of Composites and Adhesives; Radiation Grafting; Thermoset and Thermoplastic Resins; Elastomers; Carbon Materials; Process Science & Engineering; Physical, Mechanical, Chemical and Thermal Characterization and Testing of Materials; Composite Structures; Nondestructive Evaluation & Testing; Composite Resin Formulation; Composite Manufacturing; Synthesis of Carbon Fiber Polyacrylonitrile Precursors and Aramid Materials, Fiber Spinning, Fiber Conversion and Testing; Fiber Converting; Prepregging; Tooling; Polymeric Fiber, Foam and Powder Adsorbents for Extracting Uranium and Other Metals from Seawater; Lithium-Ion Batteries; Carbon Capture Adsorbent Materials; Upcycling Thermoset Materials; Petroleum Mesophase Pitch Fibers and Mats; Project Management; Classified Projects.
2022 R&D 100 Award - RapidCure: High-Speed Electron Beam Processing of Battery Electrodes; Zhijia Du, Chris Janke, David Wood, Jianlin Li, Claus Daniel.
2022 R&D 100 Special Recognition: Green Tech Award (Silver) - RapidCure: High-Speed Electron Beam Processing of Battery Electrodes; Zhijia Du, Chris Janke, David Wood, Jianlin Li, Claus Daniel.
2022 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) – Excellence in Technology Award - ORNL Partners with Ateios Systems Through License for Paper-Thin, Customizable Batteries; Jennifer Caldwell, Susan Ochs, Zhijia Du, Christopher Janke, Jianlin Li, David Wood.
2017 UT-Battelle Team Award – Research Accomplishment Category – Uranium Extraction from Seawater Project; Abney, C.W.; Bryantsev, V.; Janke, C.J.; Mayes, R.T.; Saito, T.; Tsouris, C.; Dai, S.; Brown, S.
2016 R&D 100 Award – U-Grabber – Dai, S.; Brown, S.; Rogers, R.; Janke, C.J.; Mayes, R.T.; Saito, T.; Hanes, R.; ORNL and 525 Solutions.
2012 R&D 100 Award – HiCap Adsorbents – Janke, C.J.; Tsouris, C.; Sun, X.G.; Mayes, R.T.; Oyola, Y.; Dai, S.; Bauer, C.; Saito, T.; Brang, J.; Haggard, J.; ORNL and Hills, Inc.
2008 R&D 100 Award – Laser-Induced Fluorescence (LIF) Composite Heat Damage Detector – Janke, C.J.; Fisher, J.; Fisher, W.; Wachter, E.; Clemons, A.; Eberle, C.; Maxey, C.; Storey, J.; ORNL and Galt Technology LLC.
1998 AMSE Technological Achievement Award - Electron-Beam Curable Cationic Epoxy Resins.
1997 R&D 100 Award - Electron-Beam-Curable Cationic Epoxy Resins – Janke, C.J.; Dorsey, G.F.; Havens, S.J.; Lopata, V.J.; ORNL, Y-12 and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).
1997 Lockheed Martin Technical Achievement Award - Creating Major Breakthroughs in Composites Materials Processing Using Electron Beam Energy for Curing.
Trademarks and Patents
Du, Z., Janke, C.J., Li, J., Wood, D.L., Daniel, C.; A method of solvent-free manufacturing of composite electrode incorporating radiation curable binders. US Patent No.: 11,289,689 B2; March 29, 2022.
Janke, C.J.; Mayes, R.T.; Das, S.; Dai, S.; Amidoxime-functionalized materials and their use in extracting metal ions from liquid solutions. US Patent No.: 11,247,191 B2; Feb. 15, 2022.
Janke, C.J.; Mayes, R.T.; Dai, S.; Das, S.; Amidoxime-functionalized materials and their use in extracting metal ions from liquid solutions. U.S. Patent No. 10,702,852 B2; July 7, 2020.
Janke, C.J.; Dai, S.; Oyola, Y.; Fiber-Based Adsorbents Having High Adsorption Capacities for Recovering Dissolved Metals and Methods Thereof. U.S. Patent No. 9,433,920 B2; September 6, 2016.
Janke, C.J.; Dai, S.; Oyola, Y.; Powder-Based Adsorbents Having High Adsorption Capacities for Recovering Dissolved Metals and Methods Thereof. U.S. Patent No. 9,327,267 B2; May 3, 2016.
Janke, C.J.; Dai, S.; Oyola, Y.; Foam-Based Adsorbents Having High Adsorption Capacities for Recovering Dissolved Metals and Methods Thereof. U.S. Patent No. 9,044, 739 B2; June 2, 2015.
Janke, C.J.; Dai, S.; Oyola, Y.; Fiber-Based Adsorbents Having High Adsorption Capacities for Recovering Dissolved Metals and Methods Thereof. U.S. Patent No. 8,722,757 B2; May 13, 2014.
Huff, S.P.; Janke, C.J.; Kass, M.D.; Lewis, S.A.; Pawel, S.J.; Theiss, T.J.; System for Determining Biofuel Concentration. U.S. Patent No. 9,442,101; Sept. 13, 2016
Howell, D.; Janke, C.J.; Eberle, C.C.; Ionizing Radiation Post-Curing of Objects Produced by Stereolithography and Other Methods. U.S. Patent No. 6,107,008; August 22, 2000.
Janke, C.J.; Lopata, V.J.; Havens, S.J.; Dorsey, G.F.; Moulton, R.J.; High Energy Electron Beam Curing Of Epoxy Resin Systems Incorporating Cationic Photoinitiators. U.S. Patent No. 5,877,229; March 2, 1999.
Janke, C.J.; Dorsey, G.F.; Havens, S.J.; Lopata, V.J.; Toughened Epoxy Resin System and a Method Thereof. U.S. Patent No. 5,726,216; March 10, 1998.
Janke, C.J.; Dorsey, G.F.; Havens, S.J.; Lopata, V.J.; Moulton, R.J.; Ionizing Radiation Curing of Epoxy Resin Systems Incorporating Cationic Photoinitiators. EP 0 843 685 B1, Date of Publication: 24.09.2003, Application no.: 96925514.0, Date of filing: 26.07.1996, Intl. Application no. PCT/US96/12302, Intl. Publication no. WO 97/005172 (13.02.1997 Gazette 1997/08).