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OSTIblog Articles in the ORNL Topic

Scientist Arthur Ragauskas is helping redefine the bioenergy research frontier

by Kathy Chambers 24 Jul, 2014 in

Dr. Arthur J. RagauskasDr. Arthur J. RagauskasIt is anticipated that the biofuels industry will have a dramatic impact on our lives, much like the petroleum industry. Alternative fuels from renewable cellulosic biomass— plant stalks, trunks, stems, and leaves—are expected to significantly reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil while enhancing national energy security and decreasing the environmental impacts of energy use. Research is currently focused on accelerating the environmental and commercial viability of biofuel production.

The University of Tennessee’s Arthur Ragauskas is one of the notable scientists who are redefining the frontiers of bioenergy research in the quest for an economically feasible and sustainable biofuel industry. Dr. Ragauskas’s research is important in uncovering ways to convert biomass such as lignocellulose to biofuels, biopower, and biomaterials. His current work focuses on converting plant matter, found in the cell walls of energy crops, into biofuels and reducing the cost of conversion of biomass to biofuel. He also works to uncover applications of bio-based chemicals and materials for use in health care and industry. Ragauskas has recently moved to the University of Tennessee (UT) from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he was a professor within the Institute of Paper Science and Technology. Many of Ragauskas' DOE research reports and journal citations can be viewed in DOE’s SciTech Connect database. 

Dr. Ragauskas was recently named the...

Related Topics: bioenergy, biofuel, biorefining, ORNL, University of Tennessee, UT-ORNL Governor's Chair


3-D Printing - A powerful tool gains momentum

by Kathy Chambers 29 May, 2014 in
3D printed and perforated metal box

3D printing technology is gaining fresh momentum in Department of Energy (DOE) research endeavors. 3D printing is achieved using an additive manufacturing process that creates 3D objects directly from a computer model, depositing material layer by layer only where required. This technology is expected to exert a profound impact on an increasing array of applications in architecture, engineering, construction, industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military, engineering, dental and medical industries, biotechnology, apparel, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, and many other fields.  

Scientists at DOE facilities are using 3D printing technology to help industry adopt new manufacturing technologies, reduce life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions, lower production cost, and create new products and opportunities for high-paying jobs. A quick glimpse into some current DOE research projects provides an idea of how 3D printing technology is providing opportunities for practical advances in science.

Collaborators from a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) have shown that 3D printing can be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand for potential use in tiny medical or communication devices. The team, based at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, printed...

Related Topics: 3D Printing, additive manufacturing, Ames Laboratory, Energy Frontier Research Centers, ORNL


A banner year expected for high-performance computing

The Titan 2 supercomputer at ORNL


Just seven miles south of our OSTI facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee is a national treasure – the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  ORNL is DOE’s largest multi-program laboratory where remarkable scientific expertise and world-class scientific facilities and equipment are applied to develop scientific and technological solutions that are changing our world. ORNL’s National Center for Computational Sciences is home to two of ORNL’s high-performance computing projects -- the National Climate-Computing Research Center (NCRC), where research is dedicated to climate science, and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF).  OLCF delivers the most powerful computational resource in the U.S. for open science, allowing the world’s best computational researchers an opportunity to tackle problems that would be unthinkable on other systems.

OLCF has such a remarkable history. It was established in 2004 to deliver a supercomputer 100 times more powerful than the leading systems of the day. Its Cray XT4 Jaguar ran the first scientific applications to exceed 1,000 trillion calculations a second (1...

Related Topics: High-performance computing, Jaguar, ORNL, Titan, SciTech Connect


Travel through DOE databases; find emerging nanotechnology devices

by Kathy Chambers 16 Jul, 2012 in Technology
Items coated in nanomolecular materials in blue-green, yellow, orange, red, and purple.

In the world of nanomanufacturing, new materials, devices, components and products are emerging at a breathtaking rate. Next-generation nanocoatings are being developed to enhance wear resistance of industrial materials.  An infrared retina that includes adaptive sensors has been patented. Self-cleaning skin-like prosthetic polymer surfaces have been developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ORNL is also well on its way to creating nano catalysts for diesel engine emission remediation.  The sonification of x-ray scattering data is explored at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  A...

Related Topics: Brookhaven, databases, nano, ORNL