Global energy production, storage and transport are both essential and environmentally impactful. New energy sources, managing and capturing the biproducts of energy expenditure, and repurposing of carbon dioxide are issues of national and global importance. Researchers at LLNL continue to broadly invent novel technologies that intersect at materials, mechanical, electrical, biological and chemical interfaces. Inventions in this portfolio range from bioreactors, to materials, to batteries, motors and new systems.

Portfolio News and Webcast

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An Open-Source, Data-Science Toolkit for Energy Grids

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed GridDS — an open-source, data-science toolkit for power and data engineers that will provide an integrated energy data storage and augmentation infrastructure, as well as a flexible and comprehensive set of state-of-the-art machine-learning models.

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LLNL and Partners Leveraging Microorganisms to Separate and Purify Rare-Earth Elements

LLNL, Penn State, Columbia University, Tufts University, University of Kentucky, Purdue University and industry partner Western Rare Earths will use microbial and biomolecular engineering to develop a scalable bio-based separation and purification strategy for rare-earth elements

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LLNL and Ampcera Partnership Using 3D printing for Next Generation Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is partnering with Ampcera Inc. to develop solvent-free Laser Powder Bed Fusion additive manufacturing technologies for the fabrication of 3D-structured lithium battery cathodes, that could result in faster charging and higher-energy-density batteries.

Energy and Environment Technologies

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LLNL has a patented process to produce colloidal silica directly from geothermal fluids. Livermore’s process uses membranes to produce a mono-dispense slurry of colloidal silica particles for which there are several applications. LLNL has demonstrated that colloidal silica solutions that result from extraction of silica from geothermal fluids undergo a transition to a solid gel over a range of…

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Livermore Laboratory researchers have developed a methodology for degradation of TBP using an inexpensive, readily available, and environmentally friendly salt, potassium iodide (KI), in a similarly inexpensive, abundant, and green solvent dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) to efficiently convert TBP to the potassium salts of dibutylphosphate (DBP) and monobutylphosphate (MBP) The reaction is carried…

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A ceramic HEPA filter designed to meet commercial and DOE requirements, as well as to minimize upgrade installation logistics for use in existing facilities. Current key performance requirements are described in DOE Standard 3020. The ceramic filter is designed to be nonflammable, corrosion resistant, and compatible with high temperatures and moisture. The ceramic filter will significantly…

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The new LLNL technique works by transiently removing and trapping concrete or rock surface material, so that contaminants are confined in a manner that is easy to isolate and remove. Our studies suggest that 10 m2 of surface could be processed per hour. The technique easily scales to more surface/hr.

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The new LLNL technology would sense active control or other signals from the grid and automatically shed or re-establish load as appropriate. This gradual reduction and reestablishment of load would give operators more time to reconfigure grid resources to respond to the transient. This increased time window for reaction should lead to lower operating costs with the current grid architecture…

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LLNL has developed a new method of separating carbon dioxide from flue gas. LLNL's ion pump method increases the concentration of dissolved carbonate ion solution. This increases the vapor pressure of carbon dioxide gas, permitting carbon dioxide to be removed from the downstream side of the ion pump as a pure gas. The ion pumping may be obtained from reverse osmosis, electrodialysis, or the…

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CRETIN is a 1D, 2D, and 3D non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) atomic kinetics/radiation transport code which follows the time evolution of atomic populations and photon distributions as radiation interacts with a plasma consisting of an arbitrary mix of elements. It can provide detailed spectra for comparing with experimental diagnostics.
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There are prominent technical challenges arising from spinning a battery on the order of kilohertz as required by magic angle spinning in order to obtain spectral resolution that are addressed and enable operando solid-state NMR. The operando NMR measurement allows for continuous monitoring of the battery components and of potential metastable states that may exist during…

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Using native bacterial regulatory systems, LLNL researchers have developed whole-cell biosensors that can be used in aqueous samples for sensitive and selective in situ detection of the uranyl oxycation (UO22+), the most toxic and stable form of U in oxygenated environments. Specifically, two functionally independent, native U-responsive regulatory systems, UzcRS and UrpRS, were integrated…

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LLNL researchers have developed a new method of using silver nanowires for fabrication of ultralight conductive silver aerogel monoliths with predicable densities and excellent properties. Silver nanowire building blocks were prepared by polyol synthesis and purified by selective precipitation. Silver aerogels were produced by freeze-casting nanowire aqueous suspensions followed by thermal…

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The core innovation of LLNL's enzyme-embedded, multi-component polymer-based bioreactors perform one or more additional functions of the bioreactor:

  • efficient distribution of reactants and removal of products
  • exposure of enzymes to high concentrations of gas-phase reactants
  • separation of products and reactants
  • formation of high surface area…
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LLNL’s invention for non-destructive evaluation of water ingress in photovoltaic modules uses a non-invasive optical detection technique based on hyperspectral near infrared imaging technology with frequencies tuned to water absorption band. In this way a quantitative 2D image of the water content in a given device can be obtained remotely and repeatedly over time. A key challenge is presented…

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This approach harvests both mechanical and thermal energy by combining nanowires and phase change materials. These devices were fabricated on Kapton® polyamide films and used ZnO nanowires with the same growth direction to assure alignment of the piezoelectric potentials of all of the wires. The circuit was designed as long, parallel electrode arrays perpendicular to the nanowire axis. Good-…

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The design calculations that have been performed in exploring the potentialities of LLNL's new approaches to flywheel energy storage have been built on existing and past LLNL flywheel programs, including a program aimed at flywheel systems for the bulk storage of electricity at utility scale. To achieve the requirements of such systems, as mentioned above, LLNL has developed some key new…

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LLNL has developed an innovative technology known as flow-through electrode capacitive desalination (FTE-CD) that promises to unlock an almost inexhaustible water source for U.S. and global population markets. FTE-CD represents a robust and low-maintenance path for efficiently and cost-effectively producing clean drinking water from seawater and brackish water.

FTE-CD removes salt by…

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LLNL has developed a noble gas mass spectrometry facility that houses a state-of-the-art water-gas separation manifold and mass spectrometry system designed specifically for high throughput of groundwater samples. The fully automated, computer-controlled manifold system allows analysis of the full suite of noble gases (3He/4He, He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe concentrations), along with low level…

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Redox ion-exchange polymers ("redox-ionites") and membranes possessing cation- and anion- exchange, amphoteric, complex-forming and oxidation-reduction abilities have been developed on the basis of the biocompatible synthetic and chemically modified natural polymers. In addition, developments have been made towards methods of obtaining of water-soluble and spatially cross-linked ionites of…

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LLNL's new EMB designs are intended to answer to all of the new requirements for bulk energy storage systems, including very low parasitic losses and high turnaround efficiency. The new systems are designed for low capital and maintenance cost, and long (decades) service lifetime. The size of the modules will be such as to make them useful in a wide variety of applications, all the way from…
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Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit observable ultrasensitive detection limits due to their unusually large surface-to-volume architecture. This suggests that nanosensors can provide a distinct advantage over conventional designs. This advantage is further enhanced when the nanosensor can harvest its meager power requirements from the surrounding…

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An LLNL and UCLA team has recently demonstrated a new compound material that can directly convert thermal energy to electrical energy. Basic research is required before this newly invented material can be produced in the form of a thin film and tested at high frequency. The team is interested in partnering with a company from basic research and development through production of a manufacturing…

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An invention at LLNL uses a mixture of solid and liquid dielectric media. This combination has properties that are an improvement over either separately. The solid phase, in the form of small pellets, inhibits fluid motion, which reduces leakage currents, while the liquid phase (dielectric oil) provides self-repair capabilities. Also, since the media is removable, the high voltage equipment…

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Nanomaterials that are emerging out of cutting edge nanotechnology research are a key component for an energy revolution. Carbon-based nanomaterials are ushering in the "new carbon age" with carbon nanotubes, nanoporous carbons, and graphene nanosheets that will prove necessary to provide sustainable energy applications that lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

Carbon aerogels (CAs)…

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The invention is a new tool for Homeland Security and Department of Defense efforts to reduce or eliminate potential personal exposure to terrorist-related biological and "dirty bomb" weapon particulates. This will assist emergency responders and aid in protecting public health. This copolymer and solvent solution is used to bind with airborne hazardous particulates, such as biological weapon…

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This electrostatic (E-S) generator/motor operates through the time-variation of the capacity of an electrically charged condenser to generate AC voltages and/or mechanical torque. The output of the generator is such that it can take advantage of the development of high-voltage solid-state electronic components now coming into wide use in the electrical utilities.