Living Sensor Can Potentially Prevent Environmental Disasters From Fuel Spills

The Colonial Pipeline, which carries fuel from Texas to New York, ruptured last fall, dumping a quarter-million gallons of gas in rural Alabama. By the time the leak was detected during routine inspection, vapors from released gasoline were so strong they prevented pipeline repair for days. Now, scientists are developing technology that would alert pipeline managers about leaks as soon as failure begins, avoiding the environmental disasters and fuel distribution disruptions resulting from pipeline leaks.

Graphene Oxide Nanosheets Could Help Bring Lithium-Metal Batteries to Market

Lithium-metal batteries -- which can hold up to 10 times more charge than the lithium-ion batteries that currently power our phones, laptops and cars -- haven't been commercialized because of a fatal flaw: as these batteries charge and discharge, lithium is deposited unevenly on the electrodes. This buildup cuts the lives of these batteries too short to make them viable, and more importantly, can cause the batteries to short-circuit and catch fire.

United States Department of Energy to Host Multi-Laboratory Cyber Defense Competition

In less than one month, over a hundred college students from across the United States will convene in one of the largest cyber defense competitions in the nation. The event, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, will take place on April 6-7, 2018. This event will be simultaneously hosted across three of the Department's national laboratories: Argonne, Oak Ridge and Pacific Northwest. The completion challenges students to respond to a scenario based on a real-world challenge of vital importance: protecting the Nation's energy critical infrastructure from the cyber threat.

Diamonds From the Deep: Study Suggests Water May Exist in Earth's Lower Mantle

A new study, which included experiments at Berkeley Lab, suggests that water may be more common than expected at extreme depths approaching 400 miles and possibly beyond - within Earth's lower mantle. The study explored microscopic pockets of a trapped form of crystallized water molecules in a sampling of diamonds.

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.

The Element of Surprise

In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Lille in France, chemists have explored protactinium's multiple resemblances to more completely understand the relationship between the transition metals and the complex chemistry of the early actinide elements.

Chemists use abundant, low-cost and non-toxic elements to synthesize semiconductors

Javier Vela of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory has worked with two of his graduate students to synthesize a new material for semiconductors. The chemists think the material will work well in solar cells, but without the toxicity, scarcity or costs of other semiconductors.

Turbocharging Fuel Cells with a Multifunctional Catalyst

Zero-emissions cars zipping into a sustainable energy future are just one dream powered by fuel cells. But cell technology has been a little sluggish and fuel prohibitively pricey. This new catalyst could offer a game changer. And there are more developments to come.

Researchers Develop Spectroscopic Thermometer for Nanomaterials

A scientific team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has found a new way to take the local temperature of a material from an area about a billionth of a meter wide, or approximately 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Predicting a New Phase of Superionic Ice

Researchers bring extreme conditions to a supercomputer and discover new insights about our solar system and beyond.

Drifting and Bouncing Particles Can Help Maintain Stability in High-Performance Fusion Plasmas

Physicists at PPPL have recently found that drifting particles in plasma can forestall instabilities that reduce the pressure crucial to high-performance fusion reactions inside these facilities.

A Game Changer: Metagenomic Clustering Powered by HPC

Berkeley Lab and Joint Genome Institute researchers took one of the most popular clustering approaches in modern biology--Markov Clustering algorithm--and modified it to run efficiently and at scale on supercomputers. Their algorithm achieved a previously impossible feat: clustering a 70 million node and 68 billion edge biological network in hours.

Method to Grow Large Single-Crystal Graphene Could Advance Scalable 2D Materials

A new method to produce large, monolayer single-crystal-like graphene films more than a foot long relies on harnessing a "survival of the fittest" competition among crystals. The novel technique, developed by a team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, may open new opportunities for growing the high-quality two-dimensional materials necessary for long-awaited practical applications.

Riding the (Quantum Magnetic) Wave

Working together, Miller, Boehme, Vardeny and their colleagues have shown that an organic-based magnet can carry waves of quantum mechanical magnetization, called magnons, and convert those waves to electrical signals. It's a breakthrough for the field of magnonics (electronic systems that use magnons instead of electrons) because magnons had previously been sent through inorganic materials that are more difficult to handle.

Painting a Clear Picture of How Nitrogen Oxides Are Formed

For decades, combustion researchers and engine companies have been seeking to understand how these gases are produced during combustion so that they can find ways to reduce them. Now Argonne researchers have synthesized more than a decade's worth of combustion studies to create a new overarching model of how nitrogen oxides are produced.

Locked in a Forest

Argonne researchers have found that in the next 100 years, already existing reforestation in the country could help topsoil absorb an additional 2 billion tons of carbon. Their work is detailed in a recent study in the <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em>.

Increasing tree mortality in a warming world

A mix of factors is contributing to an increasing mortality rate of trees in the moist tropics, where trees in some areas are dying at about twice the rate that they were 35 years ago.

Thirdhand Smoke Found to Increase Lung Cancer Risk in Mice

Researchers at Berkeley Lab identified thirdhand smoke, the toxic residues that linger on indoor surfaces and in dust long after a cigarette has been extinguished, as a health hazard nearly 10 years ago. Now a new study has found that it also increases lung cancer risk in mice.

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.

Engineers Developing Tools to Understand, Scale Up Autothermal Production of Bio-Oil

Iowa State engineers have developed a process called autothermal pyrolysis that breaks down biomass for fuel and fertilizer. A recently announced grant from the Department of Energy will support studies of the process, including development of models and design tools that could reduce the risk of scaling up the technology for commercial use.

With Laser Light, Scientists Create First X-Ray Holographic Images of Viruses

In a recent study, researchers developed a new holographic method called in-flight holography. With this method, they were able to demonstrate the first X-ray holograms of nano-sized viruses that were not attached to any surface.

Mapping Battery Materials with Atomic Precision

An international team led by researchers at Berkeley Lab used advanced techniques in electron microscopy to show how the ratio of materials that make up a lithium-ion battery electrode affects its structure at the atomic level, and how the surface is very different from the rest of the material.

Experimental Behavior of GFRP-Reinforced Concrete Columns under Lateral Cyclic Load

The present study addresses the feasibility of reinforced concrete columns totally reinforced with glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars achieving the drift requirements specified in various codes.