ORNL in the News

Scientists Accidentally Turned CO2 Into Ethanol

(Energy.gov) In a new twist for waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol...10/21

Researchers Discover Ways to Expand Temperature Stability Range of Solar Cells

(Technobahn) Despite the potential for powering the world with energy from the sun ¬- the most abundant source of renewable energy - only about 1 percent of the world's energy production currently comes through solar cell technology. That's because solar cells are expensive to produce and are susceptible to efficiency reductions over time...10/22

Composites leading way to manufacturing's future in ET

(Knoxville News Sentinel) East Tennessee is fast becoming a center for advanced manufacturing, and an announcement last week adds momentum to the effort…ORNL, the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and the University of Kentucky are partners in the institute’s composite materials initiative...10/23

ORNL researchers unravel the science behind biomass breakdown

(RPA News) ...A team led by Jeremy Smith, a University of Tennessee–ORNL Governor’s Chair and the director of the UT–ORNL Center for Molecular Biophysics, uses computer simulations to investigate the chemistry of biomass deconstruction...10/21


Science and Technology

Waste, Families Left Behind As Nuclear Plants Close

(NPR) ...Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a "broken system" for taking plants out of service and storing radioactive waste...10/24

Energy and Science Policy

Biden Issues Cancer Moonshot Report, Advocates for Research Culture Shift

(AIP) This week, Vice President Biden presented an implementation plan for the administration's Cancer Moonshot Initiative and advocated for a culture shift toward more team-oriented, interdisciplinary research that leverages shared datasets and draws on expertise from a broader range of federal agencies, including the Department of Energy...10/20


New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

(PhysOrg) One of the most detailed genomic studies of any ecosystem to date has revealed an underground world of stunning microbial diversity, and added dozens of new branches to the tree of life...10/24

Argonne researchers posit way to locally circumvent Second Law of Thermodynamics

(EurekAlert) For more than a century and a half of physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that entropy always increases, has been as close to inviolable as any law we know. In this universe, chaos reigns supreme. But researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory announced recently that they may have discovered a little loophole in this famous maxim...10/20

US Department of Energy invests US$21 million in 17 projects

(PVTech) The US Department of Energy announced that it will invest US$21.4 million in funding for 17 new projects in order to cut down on the “soft costs” normally found in PV energy — such as installation, permitting and connecting to the grid...10/21

Local and State

Advanced manufacturer to create 200 jobs

(Oak Ridger) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd and HTS International Corporation officials today announced the advanced manufacturer will invest $21.4 million to establish its global headquarters and new U.S. manufacturing facility in Knox County...10/20