March 23, 2012
ORNL in the News

Machine Design team Goodbye to Lithium-Ion Batteries?

(Machine Design) A piece of aluminum has more free energy content than the same amount of either methanol or ethanol...A lot original work on ionic electrolytes and aluminum too place at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. There, a research team headed up by M. Parans Paranthaman and Gilbert Brown came up with an ionic...3/22

ORNL workers ratify contract extension

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Hourly workers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory today ratified a three-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement with UT-Battelle, the government's managing contractor at ORNL. Steve Jones, president of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council, confirmed the ratification shortly after voting concluded at 9 p.m....3/22

Standoff Sensing Enters New Realm with Dual-Laser Technique

(R&D Magazine) Identifying chemicals from a distance could take a step forward with the introduction of a two-laser system being developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In a paper published in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Ali Passian and colleagues present a technique that uses a quantum cascade laser to "pump," or strike, a target, and another laser to monitor the material's response as a result of temperature-induced changes....3/22

A better heat exchanger is key to heat-pump efficiency

(Machine Design) The population of the desert city Las Vegas has soared by over 30% in the past decade, a trend that has severely strained local electrical companies in terms of finding water to run through their cooling towers...Key to the project was optimization of the heat exchanger, which relied on testing, modeling, and simulation help from researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...3/22

DOE

PG&E Sponsors U.S. Department of Energy Green Button Apps Contest

(PR Newswire) After seeing the potential for customers to save energy and money by downloading personal energy data through its Green Button service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is supporting further industry innovation by sponsoring a nationwide search for the best Green Button energy apps...3/22

Department of Energy defends loan guarantees to First Solar, Abengoa

(Phoenix Business Journal) The U.S. Department of Energy is defending its loan guarantees to First Solar Inc., Abengoa Solar and others, saying the projects are moving forward as planned and will continue to be monitored...3/21

East Tennessee

VW is hiring 800 in TN to up output

(The Tennessean) Volkswagen will announce today that it will add 800 jobs at its new Tennessee plant, the latest sign that rebounding car sales are boosting the manufacturing sector. The new hires at the Chattanooga plant, just opened last year, will push total employment past 3,000, 50 percent more than the German automaker promised when it came to town...3/22

National

Obama expediting southern Keystone oil pipeline

(USA Today) President Obama said today he is expediting approval of the southern end of the Keystone XL oil pipeline -- from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast of Texas -- and he criticized Republicans for turning an energy and environmental issue into a political one...3/22

Mubarak/TatawiDespite concerns, U.S. to give Egypt $1.5B

(CBS News) he Obama administration told Congress on Thursday it will waive democracy requirements to release up to $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt despite concerns that the country is backsliding on commitments it made to democratic governance and rule of law...3/22

science & technology

Titanoboa

Snake Found in Grand Central Station!

(Smithsonian) In January 2011, the Smithsonian Channel approached Kevin Hockley, an Ontario-based model maker, with a tall (and rather long) order: Build us a snake. Several years ago, Carlos Jaramillo, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and scientists from the University of Florida, University of Toronto and Indiana University unearthed fossils of a prehistoric snake in northern Colombia.

MercuryMercury Has a Liquid Core, and Other New Surprises From the Innermost Planet

(Popular Science) NASA’s Messenger spacecraft entered orbit around Mercury one year ago this week, and the spacecraft has been hard at work. It has captured nearly 100,000 images, mapped Mercury’s gravity field, and taken sensitive altimetry measurements that are shedding light on the planet’s surface features like never before...3/22

New Light Shed On Wandering Continents

(Science Daily) A layer of partially molten rock about 22 to 75 miles underground can't be the only mechanism that allows continents to gradually shift their position over millions of years, according to a NASA-sponsored researcher. The result gives insight into what allows plate tectonics -- the movement of Earth's crustal plates -- to occur...3/22

Other Stories

Oil Production

Obama Plans Won't Cut Oil Prices For Decades, If Ever

(Investor's Business Daily) Whenever the subject of drilling comes up, President Obama consistently discounts it as a way to lower oil prices. During his 2008 presidential run, for example, Obama blasted his Republican opponent for proposing to lift the nearly 30-year congressional ban on offshore drilling. "Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today, it would not lower prices tomorrow," he said, "it would not lower gas prices five years from now."...3/22

You're an Engineer? You're Hired

(U.S. News and World Report) Upon finishing a master's in electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech in December 2011, Gaurang Narvekar, 25, had three job offers in hand...3/22