Ask a biofuel researcher to name the single greatest technical barrier to cost-effective ethanol, and you’re likely to receive a one-word response: lignin. To better understand exactly how lignin persists, researchers ORNL created one of the largest biomolecular simulations to date using the Titan supercomputer to track and analyze millions of atoms. The research was led by Jeremy Smith, UT Governor’s Chair based in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory News
The SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership recently awarded a $2.3 million project to the College of Engineering and its collaborators.
Developed in collaboration between UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Joint Directed Research and Development program nurtures collaborative research from the two institutions. The program recently announced the selection of twelve UT faculty researchers to benefit from its current cycle of funding.
Phones, tablets, computers, and even televisions use touchscreen technology, which relies on substances that contain rare and costly elements. Now, thanks to a breakthrough led by UT’s College of Engineering and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, that problem could soon be in the past.
Tom Zawodzinski, joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage, has earned one of the highest honors in his field—being named a fellow of the American Chemical Society’s Polymer Science Division.
Professor and Condra Chair of Excellence in Power Electronics Fred Wang leads a team working on microgrids, systems that can operate independently of the overall power grid when the situation arises.
Research being done by professors like UT’s Takeshi Egami has shown the potential of metallic glass, but it took a recent move to the substance by a tech heavyweight to really open up its potential.
The US Department of Energy selected UT and Virginia Tech to receive almost $6 million in combined funding for the development of postgraduate courses and studies in power electronics.
Thanks to ongoing research being led in part by Art Ragauskas, UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Biorefining, an answer to how to best handle lignin—a material found in the cell walls of plants that is a byproduct of biofuel production— could be just over the horizon.
An international team led by joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory faculty used America’s most powerful supercomputer, Titan, to calculate the neutron distribution and related observables of calcium-48, an isotope with an atomic nucleus consisting of twenty protons and twenty-eight neutrons. Computing the nucleus revealed that the difference between the radii of neutron and proton distributions—called the “neutron skin”—is considerably smaller than previously thought.