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Argonne National Laboratory Technology Marketing Summaries

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

67 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Anodes Improve Safety and Performance in Lithium-ion Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

09/25/2013
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Smartgrid EV Communication module (SpEC) SAE DC Charging Digital Communication Controller

One of the major drawbacks of electric vehicles (EVs) is the long period of time required to recharge EV batteries. While regular Alternating Current (AC) charging systems are sufficient for overnight charging of these vehicles at home or at the office, they aren’t practical for quick recharging in public areas. A rapid means for recharging EVs is needed in order to make electric vehicles a practical alternative to traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.

In... read more

09/05/2013
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NOVEL LUBRICANT ADDITIVES (10-021)

To develop more fuel efficient and wear resistant engines, advanced lubricants that perform better at high temperature are needed.  Since most lubricating oils begin to oxidize above 250°C, therefore solid lubricating coatings and self-lubricating composites are needed for higher temperature use[i].  Currently used engine oils may contain metal-based lubricant additives such as molybdenum derivatives for enhancing lubricity and zinc compounds for their anti-wear properties[ii].... read more

07/16/2013
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Compact Combination NOx/O2 Sensors for High-Temperature Applications

Argonne, in collaboration with Ohio State University, has developed a compact, bi-functional NOx/O2 sensor with metal/metal oxide internal reference electrode for high-temperature applications. The O2 sensor is a previously developed zirconia O2 sensor with a sealed metal/metal oxide internal reference. The oxygen sensor does not need external air supply to operate and is less expensive than conventional technology. Combination sensors such as these are needed in combustion optimization... read more

07/16/2013
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Redox Shuttle Additives

As the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles continues to grow, so does the demand for lithium-ion batteries that are safer, more powerful, and less expensive. These Argonne additives will help meet that demand.

07/16/2013
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PROTECT: Enhanced Technology to Protect Against Chemical and Biological Terrorism

Ever since the 1995 sarin attack in a Tokyo subway, authorities have recognized that large interior structures are vulnerable to chemical and biological attack. Particularly at risk are venues like subways, airports and government office buildings, where people are concentrated in small areas and quick evacuation is difficult; or enclosed buildings such as convention centers or arenas, where the threat may be high when the facility is occupied. In all cases, early detection and rapid... read more

07/16/2013
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Intermetallic Electrodes Improve Safety and Performance in Lithium-ion Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

07/16/2013
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Synthesizing High-Quality Calcium Boride at Nanoscale

With numerous attractive properties, calcium hexaboride offers great promise for many industrial uses, particularly in PEM fuel cells for electric cars. While previous commercial attempts to synthesize the compound have been unsuccessful, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory and Southern Illinois University (SIU) have devised innovative methods for synthesizing high-quality calcium boride nanoparticles.

07/16/2013
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Accurate Detection of Impurities in Hydrogen Fuel at Lower Cost

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed two alternative strategies for detecting impurities in the hydrogen used in fuel cells. Both yield highly accurate results and use simpler, less costly equipment.

As the United States gradually establishes a refueling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles, lawmakers will adopt standards for impurities in the hydrogen used in these vehicles. Impurities can cause fuel cell performance degradation and catalyst poisoning. Such... read more

07/01/2013
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The Economical Remediation of Plastic Waste into Advanced Materials with Coatings (IN-07-070)

Argonne has developed an autogenic pyrolysis process to convert plastic waste into high-value carbon nanotubes (50?100 nm outside diameter) and perfectly round carbon spheres (2-12 μm outside diameter). The tubes can be used as anode material in advanced batteries such as lithium-ion and eventually, lithium-air batteries.

 

07/01/2013
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Copper-tin Electrodes Improve Capacity and Cycle Life for Lithium Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

07/01/2013
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MSET: An Early Warning System with Broad Industrial Application

The success of modern industries— especially those that are electricity-intensive—depends on complex engineering systems to ensure safe, productive and efficient operations. System breakdowns can result in millions of dollars in lost time and productivity—and even the loss of life and property. For example, in the utilities industry—where the continuous operation of coolant pumps is essential—the breakdown of a single pump can result in a loss of as much as $10... read more

06/13/2013
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Hybrid Radiator-Cooling System (ANL-IN-11-096)

Coolant radiators in highway trucks are designed to transfer maximum heat at a “design condition.” The current standard design condition is a fully-loaded truck climbing up Baker Grade on the hottest summer day. The coolant system, including radiator, is sized to remove 100% of the required heat from the engine at the design condition without boiling the coolant, which results in a large radiator.  Consequently, the radiator is oversized for most driving conditions. In some... read more

06/13/2013
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Innovative lithium-titanium-oxide anodes improve battery safety and performance (IN-98-069)

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

06/13/2013
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Increasing Solar Efficiency through Luminescent Solar Concentrators

For years, scientists have sought to harness energy from the sun, using lenses and mirrors to focus and track sunlight, or photovoltaic cells to absorb and convert sunlight to electricity. Their goal is for solar energy to reach “grid parity”—that is, for its cost to become comparable to that of more traditional sources of energy like coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power. Thus far, however, converting sunlight into electric power has proved to be prohibitively expensive.

... read more
05/29/2013
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Field Emission Cathode Gating for RF Electron Guns (IN-04-039)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created an innovative way to enhance the performance of radio frequency (RF) electron guns: a method of gating electron emissions from field-emitter cathodes for these guns that also provides a highly focused electron beam without magnetic fields or a curved cathode surface. The innovations provide a high-brightness, very low emission beam with beam energies from 1 to 5 MeV. The gun also eliminates the need for lasers or hot filaments to produce... read more

05/28/2013
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Precise Application of Transparent Conductive Oxide Coatings for Flat Panel Displays and Photovoltaic Cells

Argonne has developed a new method for applying thin film coatings of transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) to large panel displays and photovoltaic (PV) cells.

05/28/2013
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Millimeter Wave Sensor Technologies Track Biometrics; Detect Chemicals, Gases, and Radiation

Security threats come in many forms—airborne, radiative, gaseous, human, or infiltrative—and it can be costly and impractical to deploy a broad suite of detector technologies to identify all potential hazards in public places. Argonne’s millimeter wave (mmW) sensor technologies measure a wide range of threat materials remotely, making them well suited to many security, industrial and medical applications.

04/15/2013
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A Novel Antibody Engineering Platform to Improve Antibody Stability

To defend against infection, humans and other animals produce antibodies. Antibodies can also be used to diagnose and treat some diseases and to detect toxins and pathogens. While global demand for antibody therapeutics is growing dramatically, antibodies are relatively fragile, and tend to be unstable outside controlled laboratory conditions. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a cost-effective engineering strategy for improving antibody stability.

03/12/2013
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Robust RF Switch Yields Enhanced Communication Capabilities (ANL-IN-09-053 and ANL-IN-09-070)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a special radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switch based on ultra nanocrystalline diamond (UNCD) as a dielectric that promises a next generation of military and commercial communication systems with enhanced capabilities. Integrated with a CMOS driving device, the switch enables the simultaneous handling of data, voice, audio, and video while supporting many RF systems operating across a broad range of frequency... read more

03/11/2013
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“Smart” Frequency-Sensing Charge Controller for Electric Vehicles

As plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) become more popular, they create additional demand for electricity. Their emergence also raises a host of issues regarding how, where and when car batteries should be charged—and the resulting load on the power grid.

Electric utilities strive to avoid large fluctuations in the power supply and to keep the system’s frequency stable at 60 Hz. In this way, they maintain balance in supply and demand and... read more

02/28/2013
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Autogenic pressure reactors provide simple, rapid means of producing battery materials

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

02/28/2013
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Synthesizing Membrane Proteins Using In Vitro Methodology (ANL-IN-06-099)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created an in vitro, cell-free system and method for producing several types of protein: membrane proteins, membrane-associated proteins, and soluble proteins.

With advances that can be gleaned from the study of high quality samples of this type, this method is expected to drive advances in membrane protein structural biology and deepen our approaches for characterizing biological activity as cellular interfaces.

02/27/2013
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Toward Improved Hybrid Solar Cells (IN-07-053)

In an effort to help build a sufficient supply of clean energy, scientists from Argonne National Laboratory have developed a method to create improved hybrid solar cells through the ultraviolet polymerization of a polymer precursor.

02/27/2013
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Heat Transfer Fluids Containing Nanoparticles (08-066)

The issue of heat transfer offers fertile ground for scientific exploration across many disciplines. Argonne researchers have discovered the potential of nanofluids as an efficient agent of heat transfer.

02/27/2013
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Layered CU-based electrode for high-dielectric constant oxide thin film-based devices (ANL-IN-03-013)

Copper is drawing much attention as an electrode and interconnect material for integrated sub-micron circuit technology due to its low resistivity and high electro- and stress-mitigation resistance which are superior to Al and Al-alloys. Cu is also a promising candidate to replace Pt due to its low-cost, high conductivity and easier reactive etching properties. However, the successful substitution of Cu into thin-film devices requires the solution to critical issues such as adhesion of Cu... read more

02/26/2013
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Electron Linac Offers Safe, Affordable Production Method for Medical Isotopes (IN 10-001, IN 04-039, IN 05-107)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have devised a safe, affordable way to ensure a reliable U.S. supply of selected medical isotopes. The invention has the potential to revitalize the domestic production of critical medical diagnostic materials and make the production process affordable even for small regional hospitals.

The innovative technology combines two Argonne patents, a superconducting cage-like radio-frequency (RF) cavity and a dual electron linear accelerator, or linac, in an... read more

02/26/2013
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ARG-US RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION (RFID) Technology (IN-08-046)
For years, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been used in a variety of applications, from passports to inventory tracking in retail environments. Homeland security concerns have heightened the need for sensitive, real-time tracking of thousands of radioactive and hazardous material packages to ensure accountability, safety, security, and worker and public health. Through the support of DOE, Argonne researchers have developed and tested a patented RFID tracking and monitoring... read more
02/26/2013
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Frequency Stabilization in Non-linear MEMS and NEMS Oscillators (IN-11-087)

Mechanical oscillators are an important component in electronic devices and they represent a multi-billion dollar industry. As electronics become increasingly miniaturized, oscillators must become smaller as well and this makes them more sensitive to environmental variations. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have devised a method to solve this problem that allows creating micro and nano mechanical oscillators with excellent frequency stability.

02/25/2013
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Cathode Coating (IN-09-061)

A team of scientists at Argonne National Laboratory has developed a special coating for the cathodes used in lithium batteries. With the coating, batteries charge and discharge more quickly, without a loss in performance.

02/25/2013
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Lithium Iron Phosphate Composites for Lithium Batteries (IN-11-024)

Argonne National Laboratory has developed a series of inexpensive, electrochemically active phosphate compounds that are highly functional when used in high-power and high-energy lithium batteries.

02/25/2013
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Nanosegregated Surfaces as Catalysts for Fuel Cells (IN-07-054)

Fuel cells are an important component in the energy industry, but the high cost of producing the platinum catalyst—an essential part of a fuel cell—has historically kept fuel cells from being commercially viable. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have devised a process for creating a “nanosegregated” platinum alloy catalyst with significantly enhanced properties, making it cost-effective and highly attractive for use in fuel cells.

02/11/2013
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Synthesizing Amorphous Pharmaceuticals Using Containerless Processing

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a process by which amorphous and nanophase pharmaceutical compounds can be synthesized without the use of a container, thus avoiding potential contamination. The process involves acoustic levitation—that is, a technique in which an object is suspended through pressure created by intense sound waves—to form molecular gels and amorphous solids. The method is expected to help pharmaceutical manufacturers create drugs that dissolve... read more

02/11/2013
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Engineering Biofuels from Photosynthetic Bacteria

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a method to produce biofuels from agricultural feedstocks. The method combines both engineered and natural photosynthetic materials to generate the fuel, which can be used directly or mixed with other fuels without further refining. This method may provide a means to affordably and efficiently produce biofuels that will reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels.

02/11/2013
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Novel Application of Air Separation Membranes Reduces Engine NOx Emissions

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions pose risks to human health, and so they need to be reduced. One very effective tool for reducing engine in-cylinder temperature and, hence NOx emissions (NOx is a strong function of temperature), is Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). However, EGR has a number of inherent disadvantages that limit its long-term benefits: combustion contamination, greater control system complexity, application variability, materials and durability, decreased fuel economy, lubricant... read more

02/05/2013
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TRACKING OF MOVING RADIOACTIVE SOURCES (IN-05-128, IN-09-003 and IN-09-007)

Devices for radioactive source detection exist but their capabilities and their precision is limited. There are currently no systems which integrate signals from multiple sensors or which provide directional information or discrete source location information. In addition, current systems allow a target to know that they are being tracked.

Present-day devices tend to have a limited range of geometrical configurations in which they can be deployed. Generally, they must be deployed in a single... read more

01/30/2013
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Nanofilm Coatings Improve Battery Performance

Recent advances in battery technology are expected to more than double consumer demand for electric vehicles within the next five years. The lithium-ion battery is an attractive candidate for use in such vehicles because of its light weight and high energy density. At present, however, lithium-ion batteries are not performing at the level desired. Lithium-ion batteries require even higher energy/power densities, longer lifetimes, and improved safety.

Some existing obstacles include the... read more

01/29/2013
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Fabricating Dielectric Ceramic Films on Copper Foils (IN-09-006)

Highly specialized electronic devices operate today by virtue of printed circuit boards embedded with dozens of tiny components. The highest-performing, most reliable devices depend on non-conductive oxide films overlaid onto a copper substrate. An Argonne team has devised a unique processing method for fabricating dense ceramic films on copper foils used in these devices.

01/29/2013
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Unique Carbon-Coated Cathodes Improve Electrical Conductivity (ANL-IN-09-043)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a coating process for cathodes that improves their electrical conductivity. This procedure, which uses carbon precursors, has proved superior to conventional methods that involve high temperatures and other extremes during the manufacturing process.

01/29/2013
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Surface Modification Agents Increase Safety, Security of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Argonne National Laboratory has developed a process to modify the surface of the active material used in lithium-ion batteries. The modification agent can be a silane, an organometallic compound, or a mixture of two or more of such compounds. Both negative and positive electrodes for lithium-ion batteries can be made from the surface-modified active materials. Surface modification can be accomplished by either (1) adding the agent to a non-aqueous electrolyte used in constructing a battery or... read more

01/29/2013
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Tubular Radio Frequency (RF) Cage Field Confinement Cavity (IN-05-107)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created innovations in the design and fabrication of radio frequency (RF) cavities that improve acceleration of high energy particles: a “cage cavity” that improves cavity performance over solid wall cavities in several ways. The cage cavity improves the vacuum property, reduces power losses due to higher order resonances in the cavity, and allows use of superconducting films instead of bulk metals. Most importantly, the cage cavity is... read more

01/29/2013
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More Rapid Detection of Strontium in Urine Samples (IN-10-037)

Strontium-90 (Sr-90), a radioactive isotope, is a carcinogen that can be released into the atmosphere and human exposure can occur through nuclear weapons and accidents. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a new and improved detection method that provides more rapid and accurate identification of Sr-90 in urine samples.

01/29/2013
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Negative Electrodes Improve Safety in Lithium Cells and Batteries

To help improve the stability and safety of lithium-ion batteries, Argonne researchers have developed a new intermetallic structure type that can be used for the battery’s negative electrode. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of... read more

01/18/2013
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Sequential Infiltration Synthesis Advances Lithography (IN-10-017, 10-106)

Lithography is widely used for defining patterns with high spatial resolution. In most applications of this technique, a thin-film polymeric resist material coating the substrate is patterned using light, electrons, or self-assembly. This resist film defines the pattern to be etched into the substrate. For the resist to function properly, the masking portion of the resist must be able to withstand deep plasma etching of the substrate, even though the resist itself must be relatively thin to... read more

12/13/2012
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Enhanced Renewable Methane Production System Benefits Wastewater Treatment Plants, Farms, and Landfills

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a low-cost process that accelerates biological methane production rates at least fivefold — the Enhanced Renewable Methane Production System. The system could enhance biological methane production at wastewater treatment plants, farms, and landfills.  This system addresses one of the largest barriers to the expansion of renewable methane — the naturally slow rate of production. To overcome this challenge, Argonne... read more

03/19/2012
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Customizable Fuel Processor Technology Benefits Fuel Cell Power Industry (ANL-IN-00-030)

Fuel cells work by using a highly efficient electrochemical oxidation process to convert the chemical energy in hydrogen to electric power and heat. Because hydrogen does not occur freely in nature, it must be produced from water or hydrogen-rich fuels. The energy for the hydrogen-production reaction is derived from the fuel or a renewable source (e.g., wind, solar, geothermal). The challenge is to develop a fuel processor that is effective, efficient, and marketable. Argonne National... read more

02/07/2012
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Molecule Nanoweaver Improves Drug Delivery and Treatment Efficacy

The ability to tailor medical patches and capsules at the molecular level offers a game-changing approach to medical treatment and drug delivery. With each molecule positioned for optimal effectiveness, patches and capsules can be improved and customized for a variety of purposes.

02/07/2012
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Nanotube composite anode materials improve lithium-ion battery performance (ANL-09-034)

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are a critical technology for many applications, including consumer electronics and electric vehicles. As the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles continues to grow, so does the demand for lithium-ion batteries that are safer, more powerful, and less expensive. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrodes, electrolytes, and interfaces... read more

02/07/2012
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Magneto-Optic Biosensor Uses Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles (ANL-IN-05-122)

Magnetic nanoparticles and their broad array of properties are enabling scientists to develop increasingly sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective biological sensors. The sensors promise an array of applications as wide-ranging as the discovery of a new drug or remote detection of toxins or contaminants in air or water.

02/07/2012
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Metal Oxide Semiconductor Nanoparticles Pave the Way for Medical Innovation

Argonne researchers have developed a unique application of technology that involves using metal oxide semiconductor nanoparticles to target and control biological molecules. This approach promises to fuel medical breakthroughs in many areas, including the treatment of disease, in vivo gene surgery, and cellular drug delivery.

02/07/2012
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Using Rhodobacter Bacteria to Express Membrane Proteins (ANL-IN-99-089)

Cell membranes serve as the biological structure through which an organism interacts with its environment. Making up the cell membrane are numerous proteins responsible for many processes including nutrient uptake, excreting metabolic waste, and responding to external stimuli.

Because of their unique properties, membrane proteins are difficult to isolate and purify. Most existing systems for expressing heterologous membrane proteins are either costly or suffer from various disadvantages.... read more

02/07/2012
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Endoscopic Radiation Revolutionizes Cancer Treatment

Typically, cancer patients who require radiation therapy may experience an array of side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, or changes in the skin.  In addition, the x-ray treatment is linked to secondary cancers.  Recently misaligned x-ray treatment systems have caused illnesses—and even death.   This groundbreaking innovation in radiation therapy provides successful, cost-effective radiation without the limitations of conventional treatment. The innovation,... read more

02/07/2012
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Three-Dimensional Thermal Tomography Advances Cancer Treatment (ANL-IN-07-170)

Because they grow more quickly than healthy cells, cancer cells are typically a few degrees higher in temperature. This attribute makes it possible to detect cancer cells through thermal imaging. In active thermal imaging, heat or cold is applied to an object and an infrared camera is used to observe the resulting temperature change. For this reason, thermal imaging is helpful in detecting breast cancer and determining skin damage as a result of radiation cancer treatment.

A recent advance in... read more

02/07/2012
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High-Tech Brain Implant Predicts, Prevents Epileptic Seizures (ANL-IN-08-043)

Epilepsy, a seizure disorder, affects nearly 3 million people in the United States and 50 million worldwide. Although medication can help treat epilepsy, it has not eliminated seizures for all who live with the condition. Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory—together with researchers from Flint Hills Scientific, LLC, and Biofil, Sarov, Russia—have developed an advanced brain implant system that finds and stops seizures before they happen. This innovation offers... read more

02/07/2012
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‘Supergel’ System Cleans Radioactively Contaminated Structures (ANL-IN-03-032)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a system that can remove radioactive cesium contamination from porous structures, such as brick and concrete, which are notoriously hard to clean, as well as contamination from metal surfaces.

The “Supergel” system focuses on rapid response—capturing as much of the contamination as possible, as quickly as possible, and filling a technology gap immediately.

02/07/2012
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Electrode Materials for Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries: a New Synthetic Approach (ANL-IN-10-031)

Since the performance of Li-ion batteries is largely predicated on the cathode performance in the cell, improvements to lower the irreversibility capacity loss on the first cycle, increase the rate capability, and improve structural stability at high voltages in the cathode are needed.  The objective is to synthesize and make new materials to address these issues.  High-energy density Li-ion batteries available in the market today have low power and progressively lose their energy due... read more

02/07/2012
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Resin Wafer Electrodeionization Technology Reduces the Cost of Clean Energy, Chemicals, and Industrial Process Water

Argonne National Laboratory has developed a resin wafer electrodeionization technology for processing biomass-based feedstocks into biofuels and chemicals. The new technology reduces the cost of producing clean energy and of the chemicals and process water used in industry.

09/16/2011
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Nanofluids for Heat Transfer

Argonne National Laboratory is developing water and ethylene glycol/water-based dispersions of nanoparticles for use as the heat transfer fluid (HTF) in liquid cooling systems. The addition of nanoparticles increases the thermal conductivity of liquids, enabling more efficient heat transfer in liquid cooling systems. 

04/05/2011
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Novel Membrane Technology for Green Ethylene Production

Ethylene is currently produced by pyrolysis of ethane in the presence of steam. This reaction requires substantial energy input, and the equilibrium conversion is thermodynamically limited. The reaction also produces significant amounts of greenhouse gases (CO and CO2) because of the direct contact between carbon and steam. Argonne has demonstrated a new way to make ethylene via ethane dehydrogenation using a dense hydrogen transport membrane (HTM) to drive the unfavorable equilibrium... read more

04/05/2011
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“Upcycling”: A Green Solution to the Problem of Plastic

Plastics products—such as grocery bags, packaging foam, plates, and cups—are lightweight, strong, and inexpensive to produce. However, because these products are not biodegradable, they collect in landfills, litter the environment, and present a long-term environmental problem. Through a new process developed by an Argonne scientist Vilas Pol, a wide range of waste plastics can be converted into a fine black carbon powder or carbon nanotubes. This carbon-based substance has numerous... read more

04/05/2011
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Advanced Analysis Software Key to New, Energy-Efficient Technologies

Supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, other federal agencies, and industry sponsors, Argonne is providing broad-based scientific and engineering expertise to create analytical software tools that will enable the United States to make substantive enhancements in energy efficiency and serve the growing demand for renewable energy.

04/05/2011
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Nanostructured Photovoltaics:

Argonne National Laboratory and partner Northwestern University have invented a nanostructured photovoltaic device that allows dramatic cost savings of up to 70% compared to crystalline silicon solar cells.  Photovoltaic manufacturing is an emerging industry that promises a carbon-free, nearly limitless source of energy for our nation.  However, the high-temperature manufacturing of conventional silicon-based photovoltaics is extremely energy-intensive.  The nanostructured... read more

04/05/2011
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Rapid Cooling Using Ice Slurries for Industrial and Medical Applications
Under funding from DOE in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Argonne researchers developed ice slurry technology for industrial and municipal applications—specifically, to replace chilled-water cooling systems in building complexes. Because of the high energy content of ice slurry, its cooling capacity is many times greater than that of single-phase fluids. Ice slurry coolants in HVAC systems can therefore provide more efficient cooling, with substantially lower operational and equipment... read more
03/25/2011
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Next-Generation Catalysts for Fuel Cells
Argonne scientists have developed a rational design of catalysts for chemical reactions in fuel cells. The approach could lead to a new generation of electrochemical materials for efficient and clean energy conversion. Today, approximately 30 grams of platinum (Pt) are used to catalyze the electrochemical reaction in a fuel cell. At today’s prices, the cost of this amount of Pt catalyst material is almost $1,600. Argonne’s new, improved catalyst materials could dramatically reduce... read more
03/25/2011
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Ceramic Membranes for Hydrogen/Oxygen Production
In the long term, hydrogen is expected to be the fuel of choice for both the power and transportation industries. Just as conventional cars need gas stations, hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars will need an infrastructure. Hydrogen separation technology is integral to successful fossil-based hydrogen production technologies. Thin, dense composite membranes fabricated from ceramic and hydrogen-transport metal may provide a simple, efficient means for separating hydrogen from fossil-based gas... read more
03/25/2011
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Diesel DeNOx Catalyst
The United States consumed about 50 billion gallons of diesel fuel in 2006. Because diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines, the use of diesel fuel is expected to continue to expand. With increased diesel use and the EPA’s new, stringent regulations on smog-causing pollutants, Argonne’s new catalyst is a timely breakthrough. The diesel DeNOx catalyst removes 80–85% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel fuel combustion by converting NOx to nitrogen,... read more
03/25/2011
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Battery Life Estimation (BLE) and Data Analysis
Argonne’s BLE Software is a state-of-the-art analytical tool for predicting cell and battery lifetimes on the basis of limited test data. Because hybrid vehicles are so new to the market, researchers don't have data spanning many years. They need a tool to reliably, quickly and accurately predict battery performance. BLE software can make life-cycle estimates using as little as two years' worth of aging data. With this limited data, researchers can use BLE to estimate how battery... read more
03/25/2011