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To improve rates of nuclear power generation, ORNL has patented a way to increase the thermal conductivity of uranium oxide UO 2 fuel. This is achieved by adding high conductivity fibers to form a composite UO 2 fuel pellet. Essentially, the invention is a nuclear fuel pellet with a UO 2 matrix in which long fibers of a high conductivity material are randomly dispersed to act as heat conduits th…

Manufacturing Biodiesel from Triglycerides ORNL researchers have developed an apparatus that manufactures biodiesel by the reaction of triglycerides with an alcohol and subsequently separates the biodiesel product from the glycerol byproduct. The invention represents an advancement in centrifugal contactor technology in that the new device makes it possible to adjust and control the time in the r…

A more efficient reaction and separation process for reaction products was invented by ORNL researchers. This method is specifically applicable to the production of biodiesel through the esterification of organic oils and fats. In conventional biodiesel manufacturing, esters and glycerines are separated by allowing the products to sit undisturbed for 24 hours. This process is problematic for two…

Method of Preparing Hydrous Hafnium, Cerium, or Aluminum Oxide Gels and Spherules An internal gelatin process for preparing hydrous hafnium, cerium, or aluminum oxide microspheres was invented at ORNL. The invention is a type of sol-gel process that solidifies droplets of solution as they enter into a warm environment. The resulting gel spheres have been proven to be structurally strong. After w…

: Fact Sheets
: Hafnium, Oxide, Cerium...

ORNL researchers developed a new method for filtering materials and managing wastewater. This invention offers an integrated, intensified process to handle organic contaminants and heavy metals. By combining several separation processes and targeting different groups of contaminants, this invention is both cost effective and has the capability to be used in situ. Produced water or wastewater fro…

Treatment of Fuel Process Wastewater Using Fuel Cells ORNL researchers invented a method using microbial fuel cells for cleansing fuel processing water of hydrocarbon by-products and metal salts. This cost efficient method can be used on-site, so that water does not need to be transported to a treatment facility. It also permits fuel processing water to be safely discharged into the environment o…

New Ionic Liquids with Diverse Properties Hundreds of new ionic liquids can be synthesized using a method invented by ORNL researchers. This innovation makes it possible to produce ionic liquids and ionic compounds with a variety of tunable chemical properties, and provides ion liquids that are nonvolatile and nonpolluting. These liquids are important in many scientific research and energy applic…

: Fact Sheets
: Chemical Property, Metal, Liquid...

In-Vessel Torsional Ultrasonic Wave–Based Level Measurement System At Three Mile Island in 1979, a partial meltdown of the core was caused by a sudden, undetected loss of reactor coolant water. In the past, a reactor s high temperature and pressure environment has complicated the implementation of level measurement devices. To effectively measure the level of coolant, ORNL has developed a torsion…

Fisheye Video Imaging for Diagnosis and Monitoring A variety of investigative settings, from medicine to law enforcement, rely on the clarity of wide-angle images in order to make accurate interpretations. At ORNL, researchers developed a computerized video imaging process that maps the coordinates of a moving image to computer-based reference coordinates. This helps to stabilize and align images…

Universal Gene Transfer Technology for Gram Positive Bacteria A genetic engineering technology invented at ORNL facilitates DNA delivery to a cell by using ultrasound to permeate the cell s plasma membrane. DNA delivery using this technology is simple, quick, inexpensive, and offers a universal method for gene transfer. Existing methods for DNA delivery all have significant drawbacks, including…

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