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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2017-11-07 15:05:16
  • Article ID: 684794

Atlas Wins Ocean-Themed Competition

  • Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

    Argonne National Laboratory scientist Sergey Chemerisov (left) works with Ian Hamilton (right), CEO of Atlas Energy Systems and a member of Chain Reaction Innovation to set up a system to generate ionized gas from the Van de Graff Accelerator at Argonne. This system coverts gas to energy through a patented novel technology for use in portable battery systems.

  • Credit: OceanExchange

    Ray Fitzgerald, President and COO, Logistics of Wallenius Wilhelmsen (WWL, middle) presents the Orcelle award to Atlas Energy Systems’ Austin Lo, Chief Technologist (left) and Ian Hamilton, Founder and CEO at Ocean Exchange (right) in Savannah Georgia.

  • Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

    Ian Hamilton, CEO of Atlas Energy Systems, and a member of the first cohort of Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory, receives the Orcelle Award at Ocean Exchange in Savannah, Georgia.

Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the Lab Embedded Entrepreneurship Program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, made a big splash this month at Ocean Exchange when one of the companies in its first cohort took home the top prize for innovation.

Ocean Exchange is an international innovation pitch competition held annually in Savannah, Georgia, to find innovative, sustainable worldwide solutions that demonstrate the ability to generate economic growth and increase productivity while reducing the use of nature’s resources and waste production, all with an emphasis on oceans, coastlines, shipping/logistics and zero emissions.

Atlas Energy Systems, a startup that began at Purdue University and has been growing at Argonne under the CRI program, won the 2017 Orcelle Award sponsored by Wallensius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), a global logistics company that serves the manufacturing industry and is a leading maritime freight provider.

“WWL is excited to present the 2017 Orcelle Award to Atlas Energy Systems. Atlas' innovative technology allows for waste from the medical isotope industry to be repurposed in a responsible manner as a new battery technology that is not only safe but may possibly allow vessel operators to eliminate emissions from combustion engines while a vessel is working in port," said Ray Fitzgerald, president and COO of WWL Logistics, and chairman of the Ocean Exchange, in a press release.

Atlas Energy Systems, LLC is developing a new kind of industrial battery that can operate in portable sizes for months or years without recharging and provide emission-free power for generators. The Atlas Energy System uses the same platform technology found in household smoke detectors and expands it to provide continuous, long-lasting energy, even in extreme conditions of temperature or pressure, in the kilowatt range. Over the longer term, it is expected that the technology can be further scaled up to the megawatts range. Atlas makes its battery sustainable and environmentally friendly by using repurposed leftover material from the medical isotope industry to generate the electrons that carry the electrical charge. 

"One of the things that I love most about developing the Atlas Energy System is that its versatility allows it to be used to help find solutions to many energy challenges, from ocean monitoring to space exploration to powering portable battery packs for response crews in natural disasters," said Atlas CEO Ian Hamilton. "It was energizing to participate in Ocean Exchange and get to see so many talented innovators and such diversity of industry representatives come together to focus on global issues that affect our oceans."

Atlas is developing its battery at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago as part of a federal program through the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy called Chain Reaction Innovations. This program gives startups access to world-class research and development tools at Argonne to accelerate disruptive innovations.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that make energy more affordable and strengthen the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid.

EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports early-stage applied research & development of new materials, information, and processes that improve American manufacturing’s energy efficiency, as well as platform technologies for manufacturing clean energy products.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

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Out of Thin Air

Argonne researchers conducted basic science computational studies as part of a collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago to design a "beyond-lithium-ion" battery cell that operates by running on air over many charge and discharge cycles. The design offers energy storage capacity about three times that of a lithium-ion battery, with significant potential for further improvements.

COSMIC Impact: Next-Gen X-ray Microscopy Platform Now Operational

COSMIC, a next-generation X-ray beamline now operating at Berkeley Lab, brings together a unique set of capabilities to measure the properties of materials at the nanoscale. It allows scientists to probe working batteries and other active chemical reactions, and to reveal new details about magnetism and correlated electronic materials.

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20 Percent of Americans Responsible for Almost Half of US Food-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On any given day, 20 percent of Americans account for nearly half of U.S. diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, and high levels of beef consumption are largely responsible, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan and Tulane University.

Saplings Survive Droughts via Storage

Certain species of trees retain stored water, limit root growth to survive three months without water.

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Want to Clean Up the Environment? Make Credit Easier to Get.

Research by Berkeley Haas Prof. Ross Levine, the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance, is the first to show that when lending conditions ease, businesses invest more in projects to cut pollution.

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Jian Shi Receives Air Force Young Investigator Research Program Award

Jian Shi, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has won a Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Shi will use the three-year, $450,000 grant to pursue fundamental research on nanoscale complex materials that could lead to the development of next-generation resilient and high-performance energy conversion and sensing technologies.

Kerstin Kleese van Dam Receives 32nd Town of Brookhaven Annual Women's Recognition Award for Science

The award recognizes the contributions Kleese van Dam--director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative since 2015--has made to scientific computing and data management over the past three decades.

Jefferson Lab Announces New Accelerator Science Leader

The Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has announced that Andrei Seryi will become its new associate director for accelerator operations, research and development in June.

First Plasma for New Machine to Study Puzzling Process That Occurs Throughout the Universe

Announcement describes completion of construction of FLARE, a powerful new machine to study magnetic reconnection.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Jian Sun Receives Power Electronics Achievement Award

Jian Sun, professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering and director the New York State Center for Future Energy Systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received the 2017 R. David Middlebrook Outstanding Achievement Award from the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS). He was recognized for "contributions to modeling and control of power electronic converters and systems."

FGC Plasma Solutions Wins Top NASA Innovation Award

Argonne Chain Reaction Innovator Felipe Gomez del Campo has received the 2018 NASA iTech award for X-Factor Innovation.

Sandia Researcher Jacqueline Chen Elected to National Academy of Engineering

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Jacqueline Chen, a distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Chen is among the 99 new members from around the globe in the 2018 class.Election to the National Academy of Engineering is the highest professional distinction for an engineer in the United States.

PNNL Helps Form International Energy Storage Organization

News Release DALIAN, China -- Energy storage allows power operators across the nation to balance electricity supply and demand instantaneously, affording ratepayers a more resilient power supply.Now the focus on energy storage is global. In January, energy storage experts at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory joined forces with their counterparts around the world to forge the International Coalition for Energy Storage and Innovation, or ICESI.

University Partnership to Help Nevada Scientists Commercialize Discovery

UNLV's Office of Technology Transfer and the Desert Research are partnering to help faculty and students leverage each other's talent and resources to transform inventions into new products and services.

DOE Seeks Industry Partners for HPC Research on Materials in Applied Energy Technologies

The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a funding opportunity totaling $3 million to support projects between U.S. industry and DOE national laboratories related to improving materials in severe or complex environments through the new High Performance Computing for Materials in Applied Energy Technologies (HPC4Mtls) Program.

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Turning Up the Heat on Remote Research Plots Without Electricity

Flexible, tunable technique warms plants without need for electricity, aiding ecosystem research in remote locales.

Engineering Yeast Tolerance to a Promising Biomass Deconstruction Solvent

Chemical genomic-guided engineering of gamma-valerolactone-tolerant yeast.

Saplings Survive Droughts via Storage

Certain species of trees retain stored water, limit root growth to survive three months without water.

Unlocking On-Package Memory's Effects on High-Performance Computing's Scientific Kernels

Intuitive visual analytical model better explains complex architectural scenarios and offers general design principles.

Data Dive: How Microbes Handle Poor Nutrition in Tropical Soil

High-performance computing reveals the relationship between DNA and phosphorous uptake.

The Secret Lives of Cells

Supercomputer simulations predict how E. coli adapts to environmental stresses.

It's Not Part of the Problem, but Part of the Solution

Americium(III) is selectively and efficiently separated from europium(III) by an extractant in an ionic liquid.

Buckyball Marries Graphene

Electronic and structure richness arise from the merger of semiconducting molecules of carbon buckyballs and 2-D graphene.

Atomic Movies Explain Why Perovskite Solar Cells Are More Efficient

Tracking atoms is crucial to improving the efficiency of next-generation perovskite solar cells.

Catalysts: High Performance Lies on the Edge

Iron may be more valuable than platinum. Sometimes.


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