Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Articles
3D stacked memory can help render video game graphics
When Shuaiwen Leon Song boots up Doom 3 and Half-life 2, he does so in the name of science. Song studies high performance computing at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with the goal of making computers smaller, faster and more energy efficient. A more powerful computer, simply put, can solve greater scientific challenges. Like modeling complex chemical reactions or monitoring the electric power grid.
A step closer to turning sewage into biocrude oil
Wastewater treatment plants across the United States may one day turn ordinary sewage into biocrude oil, thanks to new research at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The technology, hydrothermal liquefaction, mimics the geological conditions Earth uses to create crude oil, using high pressure and temperature to achieve in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years.
Controlling the electrical current in ultra-thin material
By modifying the composition of ultra-thin layers of dissimilar metal oxides that do not normally conduct electricity, scientists demonstrated how to generate and control an electrical current at the junction where the layers meet. The team made significant advances in one method used to characterise these materials. This work represents a major advance in the field of thin-film engineering.
Thin material mimics cell membranes
Materials scientists have created a material that performs like a cell membrane found in nature. Such a material has long been sought for applications as varied as water purification and drug delivery. Referred to as a lipid-like peptoid, the material can assemble itself into a sheet thinner, but more stable, than a soap bubble, the researchers report in Nature Communications.
Energy benefits from smart grid investments
"Smart grid" technologies significantly reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions resulting from power production and usage. Taken together, smart grid and intelligent buildings mechanisms could reduce national carbon emissions by 12% by 2030, according to one estimate. But, surprisingly, sometimes the opposite is true for an individual project.
Water-oozing material could help quench thirst
After their nanorods were accidentally created when an experiment didn't go as planned, the researchers gave the microscopic, unplanned spawns of science a closer look. Chemist Satish Nune was inspecting the solid, carbon-rich nanorods with a vapor analysis instrument when he noticed the nanorods mysteriously lost weight as humidity increased. Thinking the instrument had malfunctioned, Nune and his colleagues moved on to another tool, a high...
Material has potential to make nuclear fuel recycling cleaner
Researchers are investigating a material that might help in nuclear fuel recycling and waste reduction by capturing certain gases released during reprocessing. Conventional technologies to remove these radioactive gases operate at extremely low, energy-intensive temperatures. By working at ambient temperature, the new material has the potential to save energy, make reprocessing cleaner and less expensive. The reclaimed materials can also be reuse...
Stored renewable energy can be efficiently interconverted
Researchers at PNNL have demonstrated that stored renewable energy can be interconverted efficiently and inexpensively by mimicking enzymatic catalysts used in biological processes. Enzymes consist of an active site-a metal where the reaction happens with connections to the rest of the protein-and a protein scaffold surrounding the active site. That PNNL research team, led by Dr. Wendy Shaw, predicted that many parts of the protein scaffold play ...
Rechargeable battery has higher energy density
A discovery has led to a rechargeable battery that's as inexpensive as conventional car batteries, but has a much higher energy density. The new battery could become a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative for storing renewable energy and supporting the power grid. A team based at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory identified this energy storage gem after realising the new battery works in a different ...
Synthetic material mimics the essentials of natural proteins
Researchers have developed a system to make synthetic polymers with the versatility of nature's own polymers, the ubiquitous proteins. Based on an inexpensive industrial chemical, these synthetic polymers might be used to create materials with functions as limitless as proteins. Reporting in Angewandte Chemie International, researchers reveal a method to produce polymers that mimic proteins in the versatility of their raw ingredients an...
Strongest titanium alloy aims at improving fuel economy
An improved titanium alloy—stronger than any commercial titanium alloy currently on the market—gets its strength from the novel way atoms are arranged to form a special nanostructure. For the first time, researchers have been able to see this alignment and then manipulate it to make the strongest titanium alloy ever developed, and with a lower cost process to boot.