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Browse Early Stage R&D Marketing Summaries

Early Stage R&D Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you'll find marketing summaries of early stage research and development technologies from U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and participating research institutions. The summaries provide descriptions of the latest technologies from the laboratories including their benefits, applications and industries, and development stage.

23 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Early Stage R&DElectrochemical Non-Oxidative Deprotonation of Ethane

A novel low-thermal-budget approach for the co-production of ethylene and hydrogen, this process involves feeding ethane to the anode in an electrochemical membrane reactor. Electricity separates protons (hydrogen ions) from the molecules, leaving ethylene, an unsaturated hydrocarbon that can be used to make polymers. 

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Early Stage R&DImproved Method to Measure Glare and Reflected Solar Irradiance

Sandia has developed a cheap, efficient, and accurate method of measuring the irradiance from solar reflections using a digital camera. Measurements of reflected solar irradiance is of great importance to industry, military, and government agencies to assess potential impacts of glint and glare from growing numbers of solar power installations around the world. In addition, this measurement technique can be used to monitor and maintain system performance for concentrating solar power... read more

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Early Stage R&DNanomechanical Sensor Detects and Identifies Chemical Analytes
ORNL researchers developed a cost-efficient nanomechanical sensor that can
detect chemicals adsorbed to a surface and then quickly analyze and identify
those chemicals. The device is a significant improvement over current detection
technologies, which are not able to perform reliable identification. Rapid
identification of trace amounts of chemicals(e.g., polymers, explosives) is important
for ensuring safety in pharmaceutical, transportation, and other sectors.

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Early Stage R&DPhotoacoustic Microcantilevers for Spectroscopy
ORNL researchers invented a unique microcantilever design that can identify the
chemical structure of minute sample materials using photoacoustic and photothermal
spectroscopy. The design advances current technology, which cannot identify specific
chemicals, and furthers the detection of vapors, cells, and tissues. The technology can
also characterize biomass, biomaterials, and pharmaceuticals.

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Early Stage R&DPhotoacoustic Point Spectroscopy
ORNL researchers invented a detector that uses photoacoustic waves to excite a
vibratory sensor coated with unknown molecules. This invention can be used to
identify these molecules and study solid, gas, or liquid samples.

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Early Stage R&DMicrocantilever Counter Electrode Electrochemical Sensor in a Three-Electrode Cell
Researchers at ORNL have invented a compact, highly accurate system to detect
and measure chemicals in solution. The device can be used to detect ions and other
electroactive species, hostile biological agents, and protein fragments. The device is
a three-electrode cell in which the counter electrode is a microcantilever. The entire
sensor (or an array of sensors) could be fabricated as an integrated circuit on a silicon

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Early Stage R&DUltrasonic-Based Mode-Synthesizing Atomic Force Microscopy
In a single run and without damaging the sample, ORNL’s mode-synthesizing
atomic force microscopy (MSAFM), along with mode-synthesizing sensing, acquires
a variety of information and allows for new sensing modalities. ORNL’s invention uses
nonlinear nanomechanical interactions at ultrasonic frequencies to noninvasively and
nondestructively detect multiple surface and subsurface properties of materials at
the nanoscale.

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Early Stage R&DStandoff Spectroscopy Using a Conditioned Target Identifies Hazardous Materials at a Distance
A safer method for the standoff (long distance) detection and identification of
molecules on a surface has been invented by researchers at ORNL and the University
of Tennessee. This invention avoids the necessity of close and potentially hazardous
contact. It combines tunable infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy techniques
to target identifying properties of surface residues.

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Early Stage R&DHand-Held Analyzer Quickly Detects Buried Human Remains
A lightweight hand-held analyzer invented by ORNL researchers uses visual and
auditory cues to quickly alert investigators to the presence of buried human remains.
The Lightweight Analyzer for Buried Remains And Decomposition Odor Recognition
(LABRADOR) is a significant step forward in the field of forensic chemistry for
clandestine grave detection.

Traditional detection using canines and ground-penetrating radar is often slow and
unreliable. LABRADOR improves the ability to distinguish human... read more
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Early Stage R&DRaptor: An Enterprise Knowledge Discovery Engine

Enterprises generate large quantities of information contained in documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and databases. This information is stored across file shares, intranet portals, user desktops, and other business unit applications. Combined with a lack of structured organizational tools, keywords, tags, or other automated retrieval tools, organizations struggle to index, search, and find information across these disparate platforms.

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Early Stage R&DRadio Channel Simulator
Radio Channel Simulator (RCSim) is a simulation package for making site-specific predictions of radio signal strength. The software computes received power at
discrete grid points as a function of the transmitter location and propagation environment. It is intended for use with wireless network simulation packages and to support wireless network deployments. 
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Early Stage R&DSlow Waveguide Structures for Particle Accelerators
A waveguide design that can save time and money in the construction and tuning of
a particle accelerator was developed by ORNL researchers. Particle accelerators use
electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds within a well-defined
beam. The beam line is used for basic science investigations as well as for applications
in biotechnology and energy. This invention can be used in normal conducting and
superconducting accelerators.

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Early Stage R&DPulse Thermal Processing of Functional Materials Using a Directed Plasma Arc
Using pulses of high density infrared light from a directed plasma arc, ORNL researchers
invented a method to thermally process thin films and other functional materials on
temperature-sensitive substrates. This approach, pulse thermal processing, could
revolutionize the handling of functional materials because it reduces the necessary
processing time to seconds from what is currently minutes or hours.

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Early Stage R&DComputational Method for Improved Forewarning of Critical Events
ORNL’s computational method for analyzing nonlinear processes provides improved
forewarning of imminent critical events. This is achieved through phase space
dissimilarity analysis of data from mechanical or electrical devices, biomedical data, or
other physical processes. The need to distinguish between similar, yet distinct, states in
a nonlinear process is essential to many engineering, research, and medical applications.

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Early Stage R&DDetecting Temporal Precursor Words and Phrases Using a Learning Algorithm and Wavelet Analysis

Most research on mammography focuses on image data, not textual reports. However, the reports associated with patient visits offer a valuable set of observations. To take advantage of these sequential writings, a robust ORNL learning algorithm assembles, searches, and analyzes cue phrases in radiology reports to determine if they define normal or abnormal traits in mammograms over time.

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Early Stage R&DAgent-Based Software for Gathering and Summarizing Textual and Internet Information
ORNL’s Piranha solves the challenge most users face: finding a way to sift through
large amounts of data that provide accurate and relevant information. This requires
software that can quickly filter, relate, and show documents and relationships. Piranha is
JavaScript search, analysis, storage, and retrieval software for uncertain, vague, or complex
information retrieval from multiple sources such as the Internet. With Piranha, researchers
have pioneered an agent approach to text analysis that... read more
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Early Stage R&DSuperhydrophobic Transparent Glass Thin Films
Glass used in building materials (curtain walls), windshields, goggles, glasses,
optical lenses, and similar applications must be durable and transparent. To meet
this challenge, ORNL researchers have invented a method to produce durable,
superhydrophobic, antireflective glass thin films for coating such surfaces.
Other processes exist for producing materials with the desired qualities,
including superhydrophobic and antimicrobial surfaces; however, in most cases
the resulting materials exhibit poor... read more
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Early Stage R&DSuperhydrophobic Coating for Evaporative Purification and Minerals Extraction
Researchers at ORNL are using their superhydrophobic coating technology to tackle the age-old problem of obtaining potable water. In the process, they have
also developed a cost-effective method to extract industrial minerals and metals such as potassium, lithium, and magnesium from the seas and other waters.
Potable water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Evaporative desalination is one of the cheapest, easiest, simplest ways to covert salt or brackish
water into fresh water.... read more
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Early Stage R&DAdvanced Credentialing for Trusted Networks
During and following disasters, rapid, valid systems are needed to exchange information—among emergency responders, with others in the community, and with the outside world. ORNL researchers have developed a Web 2.0 credentialing system that offers greater assurance of the validity of information on social networks and media and the potential to thus improve and enhance the unimpeded flow of vetted information and resources during and following a disaster to assist impacted areas and... read more
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Early Stage R&DProduction of Materials with Superior Properties Utilizing High Magnetic Field
Processing materials in a magnetic field is an innovative and revolutionary means to change materials and structural properties by tailoring the microstructure. Properties, equivalent or beyond, can be achieved with significantly less energy than materials treated by conventional thermal methods. New properties can also be created by manipulation of phase stability through the application of a high magnetic field.

Researchers at ORNL have developed various novel methods which offer improvements... read more
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Early Stage R&DBio-based photosynthetic conversion of CO2 and water to replace petroleum feedstock on an industrial scale

Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is widely used as an organic synthesis intermediate, a medical and biochemical reagent, and as a nutritional additive in food and sports drinks.  Typically, it is produced from a derivative of petroleum and concentrated hydrochloric acid.  However, the rising cost of petroleum has led to the exploration and development of alternative, biological production systems for fuels and chemicals.  Recently, a number of organizations have successfully... read more

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Early Stage R&DSimultaneous distribution of AC and DC power

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2010 International Energy Outlook, solar energy is expected to grow globally by 12.7% per year until 2035; more than any other renewable energy source. The growth of on-site DC (Direct Current) power in new and existing buildings has significant energy savings potential through the elimination of inverters necessary to convert DC source power into AC (Alternating Current) as well as the elimination of equipment normally used to... read more

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Early Stage R&DParallel Integrated Thermal Management

Many current cooling systems for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) with a high power electric drive system utilize a low temperature liquid cooling loop for cooling the power electronics system and electric machines associated with the electric drive system.  These vehicles may contain additional cooling or thermal management systems for other vehicle components, such as an internal combustion engine, batteries, or the vehicle passenger cabin.  The cost of the separate low... read more