Sealed with silica

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated a process for producing a moisture-stable, lightweight thermal insulation material using hollow silica particles, or HSPs.

Thermal materials insulate refrigerators, building envelopes, energy storage systems, fuel cells, heat exchangers and combined heat and power systems. Commonly made from glass fiber, mineral wool or polystyrene, these materials also require thick layers that take up significant space within building equipment and envelopes, which in turn lowers energy efficiency.


Cancer-fighting chemistry

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory explored radium’s chemistry to advance cancer treatments using ionizing radiation.

Radium-223 is a radioisotope used to treat cancer that has spread to bones. Chemically, radium behaves like calcium inside the body and is readily adsorbed by bones, where it destroys cancer cells and lessens pain for patients. Radium therapy has the potential to treat other forms of cancer, but insights on radium’s chemistry are needed.


Using math to predict SARS-CoV-2 protein mutations

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Tuskegee University researchers used mathematics to predict which areas of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein are most likely to mutate.

In a study supported by the National Science Foundation, the team analyzed the topology of more than 13,000 Protein Data Bank structures and found that mutations in the virus’s spike protein were most likely to occur in areas with high topological free energy, which makes a protein less stable.


ORNL to lead new center on polymer electrolytes for energy storage

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been selected to lead an Energy Frontier Research Center, or EFRC, focused on polymer electrolytes for next-generation energy storage devices such as fuel cells and solid-state electric vehicle batteries.


Five ORNL technologies identified for investment toward commercialization

Five technologies invented by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been selected for targeted investment through ORNL’s Technology Innovation Program.

“Getting new lab technologies into the U.S. marketplace is critical to protecting the nation’s economy and security,” said Mike Paulus, director of technology transfer at ORNL. “Our TIP program accelerates that transfer by enhancing commercial readiness and raising visibility.”