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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you’ll find marketing summaries for technologies available for licensing from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The summaries provide descriptions of the technologies including their benefits, applications and industries, and development stage.

43 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Metal Organic Clathrates for Carbon Dioxide Removal

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new material, called Metal Organic Clathrates, for efficiently capturing carbon dioxide for removal from coal-fired power plant flue gas streams.  Modified variations of the materials can be used in a variety of other fields as well, including adsorption cooling, separation of radioactive xenon and krypton (for nuclear energy applications), desiccant dehumidification and methane storage.  

06/12/2012
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Binary Cultivation in Photobioreactors
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new approach to converting solar energy, water, and CO2 into small molecule precursors, fatty acids, lipids, proteins, and other value-added products. The approach uses binary cultivation—inside photobioreactors—to facilitate growth by creating a closed system in which the metabolic by-products of one organism are used to fuel the metabolism in the other.
02/08/2012
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Redox Flow Batteries for Grid-scale Energy Storage
Though considered a promising large-scale energy storage device, the real-world deployment of redox flow batteries has been limited by their inability to work well in a wide range of temperatures and their relatively high cost. Historically, the state-of-the-art has been an all-vanadium redox flow battery using a sulfate-based electrolyte.

Researchers at PNNL have developed two novel approaches to redox flow batteries that overcome these barriers and offer superior performance and cost... read more
10/03/2011
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Reactive Air Aluminizing
Reactive Air Aluminizing is a process for applying a protective coating on steel components in solid oxide fuel cells and other high temperature electrochemical devices. This innovative process results in a continuous aluminum oxide coating that reduces chromium volatility and mitigates chemical interaction between glass seals and steel components during exposures at extremely high temperatures (up to 800° Celsius in lab tests).
10/03/2011
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Acrylic Acid from 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid

3-hydroxypropionic acid is readily converted to acrylic acid by conversion to the acid salt followed by treatment with a solid oxide dehydration catalyst such as titania or alumina.

08/15/2011
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Binding Organic Liquids

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a reusable organic liquid that can pull harmful gases such as carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide out of industrial emissions from power plants. The process could directly replace current methods and allow power plants to capture double the amount of harmful gases in a way that uses no water, less energy, and saves money.

06/06/2011
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Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS™) Software
The Facility Energy Decision System—or FEDS—Software is a user-friendly, menu-driven, Windows-based software program that provides a comprehensive method for quickly and objectively identifying facility energy improvements that offer maximum life-cycle cost savings.
03/28/2011
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Grid Friendly™ Charger Controller
The Grid Friendly™Charger Controller technology allows electric car owners to recharge their rides at times of lowest cost and least stress on the grid.
03/28/2011
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Simplified Synthesis of Bulk Ammonia Borane
Ammonia borane is a stable solid compound that has excellent potential as a hydrogen store for fuel cell and other applications. The ability to efficiently and economically manufacture pure ammonia borane in large quantities is important to keeping production costs manageable and for providing light-weight power options for applications ranging from small power to fuel cell vehicles. Ammonia borane is also used as a starting material for new generation of hydrogen storage materials, e.g., metal... read more
03/21/2011
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Mode Meter
Electricity grids have traditionally been monitored using systems based upon dated and slow communications and computational technologies.  A large effort is underway in the electricity industry to replace those legacy systems with high-speed and accurate monitoring units call “phasor monitoring units,” or PMUs.  Real-time phasor measurement systems provide significant opportunity for real-time monitoring of a grid’s stability state. Such monitoring will enable new... read more
03/11/2011
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Redox Flow Batteries
The need for large, grid-scale electrochemical storage is being realized as a critical part of integrating large quantities of renewable, intermittent generation into the electrical grid.  PNNL is investigating a number of potential solutions, but the most promising of them is redox flow batteries because of the relatively low cost of scaling them to large capacities.  A redox flow battery is a form of rechargeable battery that can reversibly convert electrical energy into ... read more
03/11/2011
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Enhanced Pool-Boiling Heat Transfer Using Nanostructured Surfaces
Many devices, appliances, and systems -- such as advanced power electronics with high-power computer chips, high-power lasers and radars, and HVAC systems -- require cooling to keep them running for the long-haul and to reduce maintenance and system failures. Researchers at PNNL and Oregon State University (OSU) have developed a method using nanostructured surfaces to efficiently dissipate heat in such applications at the proper temperature.
02/09/2011
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Platinum-Loading Reduction in PEM Fuel Cells
Platinum, a costly precious metal element, is commonly used in fuel cells to facilitate the split of the hydrogen atom, which enables the membrane within a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell to generate a charge, and thus generate clean, direct current electricity. In PEM fuel cells, hydrogen at the anode generates electron and protons. The protons migrate through the proton-conducting membrane, and react with reduced oxygen at cathode to create water. Meanwhile, electrons move from anode... read more
02/08/2011
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Lithium Air Electrodes
With the surge in demand for electric vehicles, automotive suppliers and manufacturers are in a race to find cutting edge technologies that deliver more powerful batteries in smaller packages and lower cost – a challenge that researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have undertaken and remain committed to solving.
02/08/2011
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Decision Support for Operations and Maintenance (DSOM)

The Decision Support for Operations and Maintenance (DSOM®) system is an expert operations and maintenance system that combines online condition monitoring and control of equipment. This allows plant operators, maintenance staff, engineers, and administrators to use one enterprise-wide system to monitor operations in and make adjustments according to streamlined, real-time information.

01/24/2011
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Compact Absorption Chiller

The Compact Absorption Chiller uses microchannel technologies in an absorption heat pump which produces cooling using heat as the primary energy source.

01/14/2011
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Automated Centrifugal Chiller Diagnostician

Researchers and engineers at PNNL have developed an automated, sophisticated, multi-level, real-time centrifugal chiller diagnostician with diagnostics available under partial load conditions. This diagnostician provides auto-analysis of system efficiency and diagnoses the most probable causes of centrifugal chiller operations caused by common failures. It provides a generic diagnostic tool applicable to most major brands of centrifugal chiller units.

01/14/2011
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Thermoelectric Ambient Energy Harvester
A novel thermoelectric generator (TEG) design by PNNL allows the conversion of ambient thermal energy into electric power for a variety of low-power uses. These miniature TEGs are able to power wireless sensors and their associated radio frequency transmitters used in a wide range of remote monitoring applications including building energy management, automotive component controls, agricultural monitoring, security surveillance, and wildlife management.
01/14/2011
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Genetically Engineered Ethanol Producing Microorganisms
Researchers at PNNL have developed a process concept for the use of microorganisms in the production of fuels, chemicals and other products.
01/05/2011
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OLED Deposition Technology
Low-cost processing methods will be required if the small organic molecule materials currently under development for use in organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) and other electronics are ever to realize widespread commercial application.
12/15/2010
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Hydrogenation of Glutamic Acid to Pyroglutaminol and Prolinol
Biomass feedstocks are increasingly in higher demand across the petrochemical industry as manufacturers research ways to make chemical products from something more environmentally friendly than petroleum. Glutamic acid is a ready platform for conversion to value added products. Among those are pyroglutaminol and prolinol, which may benefit a number of applications.
09/24/2010
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Method to Reduce Camber in Anode-Supported SOFCs
Thermal expansion differences between the porous anode/active anode and dense electrolyte in an anode supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) result in a camber (out of plane deflection) after high-temperature heat treatments. Researchers at PNNL have devised two methods to reduce the camber by applying a symmetrical thermal expansion design to the planar cell assembly.
09/23/2010
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Controlling Foaming in Hydrogen Release from Boranes
Ammonia Borane is a compound that has excellent potential as a hydrogen storage material for fuel cell power applications. However, as ammonia borane releases hydrogen during heating, the material expands to 10-100 times the original volume). This expansion complicates processing in fuel cell power applications. This solution controls the amount of foam produced so these compounds can be efficiently used to their fullest chemical potential.
09/22/2010
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Nano Structure Control and Selectivity of Hydrogen Release from Hydrogen Storage
Researchers at PNNL have developed new materials for hydrogen storage applications using nano structure approaches to enhance the properties of conventional hydrogen storage materials used to supply hydrogen to fuel cells.
09/22/2010
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Demand Response (transactional control)
The demand response system developed by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a transactional response system that determines optimal operation periods for smart electric appliances and devices based on consumer preferences and real-time pricing signals from the electric grid.
09/14/2010
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Textured Metal Catalysts for Heterogeneous Catalysis
Textured metal catalysts combine the advantages of both carbon supported and metal oxide supported catalysts for heterogeneous catalysis in aqueous systems. This combines the surface area of carbon catalysts with the metals retention and support effects of metal oxides, while avoiding the low surface area and water instability of traditional metal oxide supports as well as blocking access to the micropores of carbon supports that can sometimes lead to overreaction to unwanted byproducts. These... read more
09/10/2010
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Supported Cesium Polyoxometallate Solid Acid Catalysts
Demands for a cleaner environment are motivating the chemical and petrochemical industries to develop alternative catalyst systems and/or processes to meet more stringent regulations. One particular area of emphasis is the replacement of certain liquid acids with more environmentally benign heterogeneous solid acids. Supported Cesium Polyoxometallate Solid Acid Catalysts represent a high-performing and cost-competitive (and, therefore, viable) replacement for more dangerous liquid acids... read more
09/10/2010
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Oxidized Derivatives of Hydroxymethyl Furfural (HMF)
Biorenewable fuels and chemicals are becoming increasingly important as we continue to deplete our petroleum resources. A great deal of effort is being expended in industry and academia to develop chemistries and processes to produce infrastructure-compatible fuels and chemical intermediates from biobased sources that can replace petrochemicals in existing products as well as create new products with useful properties.

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) derivatives are newly developed biorenewable... read more
09/10/2010
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Conversion of Levulinic Acid to Methyl Tetrahydrofuran
Levulinic acid is a highly desirable renewable chemical platform, which, using this process, can be converted into Methyl Tetrahydrofuran (Me-THF) with reasonable yield. The result is a chemical compound that could represent a viable renewable alternative to compounds currently being used in the production of fuel and other similar products.
09/10/2010
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Biorenewable Process to Acrylic Acid
Biomass-derived sugars provide opportunities for new, potentially low cost routes to chemical intermediates used to produce a variety of consumer products. Biorenewable processes to acrylic acid represent greener alternatives to conventional petroleum-derived materials and could become even more cost-competitive with recent surges in petroleum prices.
09/10/2010
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Stabilization of Nickel Metal Catalysts for Aqueous Processing Systems
Nickel metal catalysts used in water-based processing systems need to be supported, or stabilized, by another metal to maximize their useful life in an aqueous environment. Attaching copper and silver to the nickel extends that useful life at less cost than other existing alternatives.
09/10/2010
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Bonded Compliant Seal (BCS)
One of the critical issues in designing and fabricating a high-performance, planar, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack is the development of the appropriate materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and ceramic components.
09/10/2010
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Gas-Tight Sealing Method for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
The long-term performance of a solid oxide fuel cell is very dependent on the materials and techniques used to hermetically seal the components of the stack. Researchers at PNNL have developed a method for fabricating durable and thermal-mechanically stable seals for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) needing metal-to-metal or metal-to-ceramic joining.
09/10/2010
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Reactive Air Brazing: Method of Joining Ceramic and Metal Parts in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Researchers at PNNL have developed a new, low-cost method for hermetically sealing ceramic and metallic components used in high-temperature electrochemical devices.
09/10/2010
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Oxide-based SOFC Anode Materials
In a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), the anode facilitates the reaction between hydrogen, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon fuels with oxygen ions that permeate the electrolyte from the cathode side of the cell. An ideal anode should have high electrical conductivity and electro-catalytic activity, and further, it would be advantageous if the anode was tolerant to intermittent air exposure and sulfur-containing compounds in hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel and natural gas.
09/10/2010
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High Performance Mica-based Compressive Seals for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
One of the critical issues in designing and fabricating a high-performance, planar, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack is the development of the appropriate materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and ceramic components. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a method for sealing SOFC components that has shown ultra-low leak rates when applied to hybrid compressive mica seals.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory selected PNNL as... read more
09/10/2010
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Glass Fiber Mesh Method of Joining for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Among the critical issues in designing and fabricating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack are the materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and/or ceramic components. Researchers at PNNL have developed a high-strength seal incorporating metal mesh and glass fibers. The unique method results in a durable, insulating seal that resists the damages commonly brought on by thermal cycling.
09/10/2010
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Glass-Ceramic Seal for Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells
One of the critical issues in designing and fabricating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack is the development of appropriate materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and/or ceramic components. Researchers at PNNL have developed a unique method that results in a stronger, more robust seal that can stand the tests of time.
09/10/2010
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Water Heater Controller

The Water Heater Controller is a device that provides smart grid services from existing, installed electric water heaters. The device uses the water heater’s thermal energy storage to provide fast, autonomous regulation (both up and down) and short-duration spinning reserves for the power grid. Additionally, as part of a communicating energy management system the Water Heater Controller can shift the power demand for heating hot water to non-peak power demand periods. These services... read more

08/03/2010
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Regulation Services with Demand Response
Grid Friendly™ Charger Controller or Grid Friendly™ Appliance technology, both developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), provide regulation services for utilities based on varying loads by water heaters and electric vehicle chargers.
08/02/2010
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Graphical Contingency Analysis Tool
The Graphical Contingency Analysis (GCA) Tool is a visual analytic software tool that aids power grid operators and planners to effectively manage complex outage predictions and helps operators and planners predict potential network failures and take effective actions in response to adverse situations.
07/13/2010
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Rooftop Diagnostician

The Rooftop Diagnostician provides fast and effective diagnostics for heating, ventilation and air conditioning units in commercial buildings, allowing you to better monitor the HVAC system to provide optimal performance.

07/02/2010
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Grid Friendly Appliance™ Controller
The Grid Friendly Appliance controller developed at PNNL senses grid conditions by monitoring the frequency of the system and provides automatic demand response in times of disruption.
06/30/2010