FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2000
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Jeff Sherwood, 202/586-5806
Energy Department Research Garners 20
Top R&D Awards
Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today announced that Department of Energy-funded
researchers have won 20 of the 100 awards given this year by R&D Magazine
for the most outstanding technology developments with commercial potential.
Their work ranges from new technologies that will help reduce waste in landfills
to new products that will help detect and identify chemical and biological warfare
"This year's R&D 100 awards recognize the Department of Energy's
continued scientific contributions to our nation's economic prosperity and well
being," said Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. "Energy Department
laboratories are a wellspring of innovation."
The researchers winning the R&D 100 Awards work at 11 of the department's
laboratories across the country. Ten of the awards are shared between the department's
labs and companies. This year's awards bring the department's cumulative total
to 549 since 1977. The winning technologies were selected by an independent
panel of some 70 experts and the editors of R&D Magazine. The awards will
be presented at a ceremony at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry on
A list of the winning technologies and the laboratories associated with
each award follows.
Department of Energy R&D 100 Award Winners
Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne, Ill.)
- a process to recover and clean flexible polyurethane foam that
can keep about 300 million pounds of automobile scrap from landfills and
save about 12 trillion Btu of energy annually in the U.S.
- an improved X-ray detector that allows researchers to study proteins
and DNA molecules 100 times faster and at higher resolution. The detector
will help develop new drugs and a better understanding of biological processes.
- a hard X-ray scanning microprobe with higher resolution and increased
sensitivity, making it unique for studying infectious diseases, drug effectiveness
and contaminated environments and developing smaller, more reliable integrated
circuits and safer, stronger materials.
Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, NY)
- a high-performance cement that stands up to the extreme conditions
in geothermal wells. This development promises to overcome a major impediment
to the development of geothermal energy. Jointly with Unocal Corp. and Halliburton
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (Idaho Falls, Idaho)
- a dosimeter capable of measuring both neutrons and gamma rays simultaneously
and in real-time, giving workers an easy-to-use instant method of determining
their exposure to radiation.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, Calif.)
- a coating for pollution control and monitoring that removes organic
vapors from the air, greatly improving measurement accuracy for semivolatile
and particulate contaminants.
- a technology for accelerating discovery of new materials with improved
properties. Jointly with Symyx Technologies Inc.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.)
- a system that uses active and passive computed tomography and gamma-ray
spectroscopy to accurately, safely and nonintrusively locate, identify and quantify
gamma ray-emitting radioactive isotopes inside waste drums. Jointly with Bio-Imaging
Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM)
National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, W. Va. and Pittsburgh, Pa.)
- a remarkably efficient, durable and reusable sorbent that removes
sulfur from high temperature fuel gases, promising electricity generation without
the sulfur oxide emissions that end up as acid rain.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colo.)
- a novel method for making ultrafine metal particles, much smaller
and less expensively than previously available. The nanopowders will have
uses in: improved lubricants, catalysts and wear/corrosion resistant coatings
as well as enhancing combustion for rocket fuels. Jointly with DOE's Los
Alamos Lab, Arqonide Corp. and the Republican Engineering Technical Center
in Tomsk, Russia.
- an instantaneous, non-destructive technology that can determine
the chemical and mechanical characteristics of wood, wood products and other
plant materials. The analysis will help guide paper mill operations and
optimize the use of standing trees.
- a wind turbine specifically designed for operation in remote,
cold-climate conditions. Its features include a direct-drive design that
requires no gearbox or lubricating oil. Jointly with Northern Power Systems,
NASA and NSF.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)
an X-ray crystal microscope that allows researchers to see the
three-dimensional crystal structure of most materials for the first time.
Jointly with Beamline Technology Corp.
- a carbon foam with thermal conductivity equivalent to aluminum
at one-fifth its weight that could displace heavy cooling fans, metallic
fins and heat sinks in electronics. Jointly with Poco Graphite.
- the first integrated portable instrument capable of quickly and
sensitively detecting and identifying both chemical warfare agents and biological
warfare agents. Jointly with Orbital Sciences Corp., MSP Corp., Colorado
School of Mines and the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.)
- a system that immediately identifies cutting blade failures on
food processing lines, avoiding wasted product. This real-time process monitoring
technology can be used to ensure product quality and equipment integrity
in other industrial situations such as detecting pipe leaks or monitoring
rotating machinery. Jointly with Lamb-Weston Inc.
- a low cost, versatile and precise radiation dose measurement
system. Capable of measuring a wider range of doses than other technologies,
this system is a useful quality assurance tool for many irradiation processes,
including food irradiation and medical equipment sterilization. Jointly
with Sunna Systems Inc.
- ultra barrier coatings that make plastic flat panel displays
for electronics possible by protecting the panels from moisture and oxygen.
Future laptop computers and cell phones may be more rugged and weigh even
less than those currently using glass panels.
Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, N.M.)
- a material modeling software program that more accurately predicts
how metal parts change during processing and eventually develop fatigue
or fail during use. It allows greater weight savings and more fuel-efficient,
safer automotive designs.
- DOE -
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