Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists used sophisticated microscopy to provide the first direct observations of how a new low-cost fuel cell catalyst works. The catalyst, developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory, is effective without expensive platinum and platinum-group metals. The study enhances understanding of why these alternative catalysts are active, offering promise for future advances.Read More
A new scalable processing strategy created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Rice University combines 3D printing with traditional casting to produce damage-tolerant components composed of multiple materials.Read More
A simplified catalyst production process developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory could double the output of high-value chemicals used in making materials found in soda bottles and tires. The process creates a greener pathway to produce BTX from renewable ethanol by introducing gallium into zeolite catalysts. The team’s new catalyst production method works without water and reduces costs.Read More
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using the precision of an electron beam to instantly adhere cathode coatings for lithium-ion batteries—a leap in efficiency that promises to save energy, reduce production and capital costs and eliminate the use of toxic solvents.Read More
A new motor developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory achieved 75 percent higher power than a comparably sized commercial motor for electric vehicles. The prototype motor uses ferrite, iron-based, permanent magnets instead of the expensive imported rare earth permanent magnets common in motors today. "We are focused on increasing energy security for the nation by designing efficient high performance motors built with materials that are both economical and abundantly available here in the United States,” said ORNL’s Tim Burress.Read More
The Roll to Roll Advanced Materials Manufacturing Consortium and partners are hosting an open call for proposals in the areas of energy storage and conversion, flexible electronics and displays, energy efficiency, and water purification, to develop a robust associated domestic materials and components supply chain. Proposals are being reviewed on a continuing basis.Read More
A new process developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory could alleviate a bottleneck in battery manufacturing and deliver higher capacity batteries for electric vehicles and consumer devices. The formation process – where batteries undergo repeated cycling to stabilize and activate them for use – is one of the most time- and energy-intensive production steps. The researchers’ new fast-formation protocol could substantially shorten that time, reducing it by up to 90 percent and saving costs and energy.Read More
A new report jointly released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and Oak Ridge National Laboratory provides a pioneering scientific analysis of the potential environmental effects of producing biomass for bioenergy in the near- and long-term. The 2016 Billion-Ton Report, Volume 2: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1 evaluates environmental indicators such as water quality and quantity, biodiversity, soil organic carbon, and air emissions that may be associated with scenarios.Read More
Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a way to better track the movement and amount of lithium during battery cycling using computational modeling, neutron imaging, and neutron diffraction—all part of an effort to develop more efficient and safer batteries.Read More
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been awarded $3.36 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop novel control technologies for connected and automated vehicles with the goal of achieving a 20 percent improvement in vehicle energy efficiency. The project will focus on developing and implementing control technologies in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.Read More
A new marine test engine unlike any other in the world is speeding up the development of next-generation lubricant technologies. The crosshead slow speed engine, commissioned by ExxonMobil and housed at ORNL’s National Transportation Research Center, will enable research and development of next-generation cylinder and system oils for the marine industry.
More than 150 kids from elementary to middle school age participated in an afternoon of discovery, exploration and investigation during ORNL’s Bioenergy Day 2016 at UT Arboretum. The free STEM outreach event provided opportunity for future generations to understand the role science and technology play in creating bioenergy resources.
UPS and ORNL are working together to develop bidirectional wireless charging technology for electric trucks that will allow trucks to recharge by simply positioning over a charging coil embedded in the ground. Power can flow both ways, allowing vehicles to power the electric grid for the UPS facility in the event of an electricity outage.
RMX Technologies has licensed plasma processing technology that accelerates the oxidation stage of carbon fiber production. The innovation cuts processing time by a factor of 2.5 to 3 times, reduces energy consumption by 75%, and lowers production costs by 20% while maintaining or improving carbon fiber quality.
The 2016 Billion-Ton Report, jointly released by the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, concludes that the United States has the potential to sustainably produce at least 1 billion dry tons of nonfood biomass resources annually by 2040. These renewable resources include agricultural, forestry and algal biomass, as well as waste—all useable for the production of biofuel, biopower and bioproducts.
XALT Energy and ORNL are partnering to develop high performing, safe batteries for electric vehicles. The collaboration produced a new coating technology that increases battery energy density so that Formula E race cars that currently last only half the race at 140 mph could power through the whole race to the finish line at 160 mph.
Joining carbon fiber composites and aluminum for lightweight cars and other multi-material high-end products could become less expensive and the joints more robust because of a new method that harnesses a laser’s power and precision. Using a laser to remove layers of material from surfaces prior to bonding improves the performance of the joints and provides a path toward automation for high-volume use.
ORNL’s wireless power transfer technology achieves 90 percent efficiency at three times the rate of the plug-in systems commonly used for electric vehicles today. This ability can help accelerate the adoption and convenience of electric vehicles.
ORNL hosted guests from around the globe for a bioenergy tour of the Southeast to look at regional, national, and international opportunities and challenges in creating a sustainable bioeconomy. Check out a recap of the group’s five-day journey on Storify.
It often takes years for new materials to reach production. A new consortium of nine national laboratories called LightMAT will cut that development time in half.Read More
ORNL is seeking commercialization partners to license a new method to produce industrial-grade carbon fiber and flame-retardant fibers from commercially-available low-cost textile-grade acrylic fiber precursor materials. The ORNL Technology Transfer Office will accept licensing applications through May 15, 2016.
R&D Magazine has selected the Infrared Nondestructive Weld Examination System for a silver special recognition award in the Market Disruptor Services category. Congratulations to ORNL’s Zhili Feng and Jian Chen and industry partners ArcelorMittal USA and Eagle Bend Manufacturing, Inc.Read More
Innovations in wireless charging, integrated energy systems, powertrain materials, power electronics, carbon fiber, battery technologies, and advanced joining technologies for lightweighting are on display alongside ORNL’s 3D printed utility vehicle at SAE World Congress in Detroit. The vehicle is part of the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy demonstration project.
ORNL’s Computer-Aided Engineering for Batteries (CAEBAT) team has released a new computational toolset for researchers and battery manufacturers to improve the design of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The toolset is available for download at www.batterysim.org.More Info
Tennessee-based APLAIR Manufacturing Systems recently licensed infrared weld inspection technology developed by ORNL. The automotive industry relies heavily on pry-checks to inspect welds, which involves manually tearing the weld apart. The infrared imaging system provides data on weld quality in seconds, offering industry a low-cost, non-destructive method to monitor welds as vehicles are assembled on the production line.More Info
Using 3-D printing and novel semiconductors, ORNL researchers have created a power inverter that could make electric vehicles lighter, more powerful, and more efficient. The prototype traction drive inverter features 50 percent printed parts. Initial evaluations demonstrated an operating efficiency of nearly 99 percent, surpassing DOE’s power electronics target and setting the stage for more innovative designs that use these materials and manufacturing capabilities to fullest advantage.Read More
ORNL developed special technology that measures gas mixing inside engine cylinders. Cummins partnered with ORNL and used this technology to optimize their SuperTruck engine, which achieved more than 10 miles per gallon under real world driving conditions. This is a 75% fuel efficiency gain over typical tractor trailer trucks.
ORNL research for this project was funded by Cummins and DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office.Read more
R&D Magazine has selected the Infrared Nondestructive Weld Examination System and the Protochips Atmosphere 200 Environmental Gas Cell as R&D 100 Award finalists in the Analytical/Test and Market Disruptor categories. Congratulations to our industry partners and ORNL’s Zhili Feng, Jian Chen, and Larry Allard. Winners will be announced in November 2015.Read More
ORNL innovations in battery and fuel cell technologies, power electronics, wireless charging, carbon fiber, hydrogen storage, and advanced joining technologies for lightweighting were featured recently alongside the 3-D printed Shelby Cobra at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The printed car will serve as a highly flexible laboratory on wheels for demonstrating new vehicle technologies.Read More
ORNL’s Sustainable Transportation Program (STP) invites US small business to participate in a pilot Technical Assistance Program. Selected applicants will have access to STP’s experienced staff and unique equipment for research and development focused on clean transportation technologies. Interested companies are encouraged to consult with STP staff to develop the scope of work for your proposal.More Info
Using the power of Oak Ridge’s Titan supercomputer, researchers are working with General Motors to optimize fuel injector design and with Ford Motor Company to advance engine development. Both projects are benefitting from the ability to evaluate designs simultaneously and virtually, without the time and expense of physically building each version. Both projects received awards from DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) and support from DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office.Read more
ORNL and Toyota have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to equip electric vehicles with new wireless charging technology. ORNL has created and demonstrated wireless charging technology that operates with the same efficiency as plug-in charging. Researchers are now partnering with Toyota and Evatran to integrate this system into a small fleet of Toyota vehicles.
ORNL research for this project is funded by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office.Read more
ORNL researchers have invented a new class of membranes that could enable faster, less costly biofuels production. The membranes have many potential uses in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and other industries that separate liquids or gasses. ORNL and NREL are partnering, with support from the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office, to determine the best uses of these membranes to support the emerging biorefinery industry.View Video
Filter Sensing Technologies, Inc. worked with ORNL and MIT to develop a sensor that saves fuel and reduces emissions for light and heavy-duty diesel vehicles. The sensor gives real-time information about soot on the diesel filter and that allows more precision when burning fuel to clean the filter. Clean filters catch more soot and remove it from the exhaust.
ORNL research for this project was funded by Filter Sensing Technologies, Inc. and the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office.Read more
ORNL and partners Arkansas Power Electronics International, the University of Arkansas, and Toyota developed a new on-board electric vehicle (EV) battery charger that provides 10 times the power density of current commercial systems. The charger delivers more efficient, faster EV charging times and significantly increases vehicle range. ORNL research for this project was funded through an ARPA-e award.Read more
ORNL and partners General Motors, Shell Global Solutions, and Lubrizol Corporation developed a group of ionic liquids that when mixed with common lubricating oils boost fuel economy for cars and trucks by more than 2% compared to commercially available 5W-30 oil.
With 250 million light-duty vehicles on the road, a 2% improvement in fuel economy could potentially save the US billions of gallons of oil each year. ORNL research for this project was funded by the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office.Read more
ORNL researchers quantified the fuel economy costs of common practices like driving with a rooftop cargo container or pulling a trailer. The ORNL team that manages DOE’s fueleconomy.gov website posted the research results on the site as driving tips. ORNL research for this project is funded through DOE’s Vehicle Technologies OfficeRead more
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy