Berkeley Lab research associate Sharon Chen sprays roofing material with soiling mixture. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

DOE Wins 32 R&D 100 Awards

The agency's labs "are a global technology powerhouse that harness innovation to create jobs, support new industries, and help ensure America's competitive edge in areas of national security and science," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s laboratories have won 32 of the 100 awards given out this year by R&D Magazine, and they received a special recognition award for the most outstanding technology developments with promising commercial potential, DOE announced. Presented Nov. 3, these 2016 awards are known as the "Oscars of Innovation" and are given annually in recognition of exceptional new products or processes, in this case ones that were available for purchase or licensing between Jan. 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

"The Department of Energy’s National Laboratories are a global technology powerhouse that harness innovation to create jobs, support new industries and help ensure America’s competitive edge in areas of national security and science," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. "These awards demonstrate the incredible value that our National Laboratories continue to provide by using basic science to address tough challenges, from cryptography to clean energy, X-ray imaging to environmental remediation."

Among the DOE winners were:

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory's MoSoy Catalyst, a low-cost, high-performance electrocatalyst derived from biomass (soybean) and a non-precious transition metal (molybdenum) for producing hydrogen, which could then be used as fuel.
  • The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Cool Roof Time Machine, a method for rating and prototyping cool roofing products that simulates three years of weathering and soiling in less than three days.
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory's Pulmonary Lung Model, a miniature, tissue-engineered lung developed to revolutionize the screening of new drugs or toxic agents, by improving the reliability of pre-clinical testing and saving time, money, and lives.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Roof Savings Calculator Suite, a web-based tool for simulating energy flow and loss in businesses and homes and predicting the cost effectiveness of cool roofing and attic technologies based on building type and location.
  • Oak Ridge's Waste Tire Derived Carbon, which uses a proprietary process for repurposing discarded car tires as a source of carbon powder.
  • Sandia National Laboratories' Falling Particle Receiver for Concentrated Solar Energy, which is designed to lower the cost and improve the efficiencies of solar energy systems. "It works by dropping sand-like ceramic particles through a beam of concentrated sunlight, capturing and storing the heated particles in an insulated tank. The technology can capture and store heat at high temperatures without breaking down, unlike conventional molten salt systems," according to DOE.
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