Bioenergy – For the birds

An analysis by Oak Ridge National Laboratory showed that using less-profitable farmland to grow bioenergy crops such as switchgrass could fuel not only clean energy, but also gains in biodiversity.

Researchers examined segments of land in the Midwest responsible for a loss of approximately $110 million per year from 2013 to 2016. If about 3% of those areas were converted to switchgrass, they could generate about 7.6 million dry tons per year of plant material for use in biofuels and bioproducts.

Coronavirus – Probing for particles

study by Department of Energy researchers detailed a potential method to detect the novel coronavirus on surfaces. Scientists from Pacific Northwest, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Ames national laboratories used an atomic force microscope to measure how easily particles of the virus’s spike protein attached to surfaces, a property called adhesion energy.

Sustainability – On the upcycle

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers determined that designing polymers specifically with upcycling in mind could reduce future plastic waste considerably and facilitate a circular economy where the material is used repeatedly.

ORNL, Tuskegee University collaborate on advanced bioderived materials research

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tuskegee University have formed a partnership to develop new biodegradable materials for use in buildings, transportation and biomedical applications.

Game-changing rare-earth elements separation technology licensed to Marshallton

A new technology for rare-earth elements chemical separation has been licensed to Marshallton Research Laboratories, a North Carolina-based manufacturer of organic chemicals for a range of industries.

Developed by scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory in the Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute, or CMI, the technology provides insight into how to cost-effectively separate in-demand rare-earth elements, which could dramatically shift the industry to benefit producers in the United States.