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Biotechnology and Energy Highlights


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Neutron Imaging Reveals Lithium Distribution in Lithium-Air Electrodes
— Using neutron-computed tomography, researchers at the CG-1D neutron imaging instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) have successfully mapped the three-dimensional spatial distribution of lithium products in electrochemically discharged lithium-air cathodes.

Theory meets experiment: structure-property relationships in an electrode material for solid-oxide fuel cells
— Fuel cell technology is one potentially very efficient and environmentally friendly way to convert the chemical energy of fuels into electricity. Solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) can convert a wide variety of fuels with simpler, cheaper designs than those used in liquid electrolyte cells.

ORNL researchers probe invisible vacancies in fuel cell materials
— Knowing the position of missing oxygen atoms could be the key to cheaper solid oxide fuel cells with longer lifetimes. New microscopy research from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is enabling scientists to map these vacancies at an atomic scale.

SNS Diffractometer puts the squeeze on methane hydrate cages, unraveling its high-pressure structure
— Imagine a robot sent out on the prowl on this energy hungry planet looking for methane, the principal component of what we call “natural gas” and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth.

Studying how a protein's dynamics can take down a killer
— In the 1950s at Minimata, Japan, 900 people died and 2 million suffered life-long injury, in the form of birth defects to incapacitating neurological and muscular deformities, after swimming in and consuming fish from the bay nearby.

Neutrons measure phase behavior in pores at angstrom size
— Researchers have measured the phase behavior of green house gases in pores at the angstrom level, using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor.

'Low tech' light in neutron beam illuminates photosynthesis in bacteria
— Researchers have measured the phase behavior of green house gases in pores at the angstrom level, using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor.

Energy and Environmental Solutions Under Our Feet
— A mix of neutron scattering techniques helps resolve critical problems of confining greenhouse gases and extracting methane.

SNS, HFIR Experiments Help Refine Thin-Film Solar Cells
— Solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity have potential to be a widely used renewable energy source. Getting to that point, though, requires breakthroughs in their cost and their efficiency at turning sunbeams into electric current.

SANS Probes Surface of Four Feed Stocks Pretreated with Ionic Liquid
— Ionic liquids have emerged as promising new solvents capable of disrupting the cellulose crystalline structure, possibly also breaking important chemical linkages, in a wide range of biomass feedstocks. Such biomass is of significant future importance for providing fuels and chemicals.

 
 
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