News

December 5, 2022
A building's indoor air quality (IAQ) plays a key role in the health, comfort, and performance of the people who spend countless hours in offices, homes, and other indoor spaces. From mold to cooking smoke to airborne viruses such as Covid-19 and the common cold, factors both seen and unseen come into play when determining IAQ. Experts at a recent conference hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for... Read more
December 5, 2022
From single-family and multifamily housing to commercial buildings and university campuses, groups of buildings offer untapped potential to boost energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through its Connected Communities program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched nine demonstration projects across the country to explore this potential. DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley... Read more
December 1, 2022
By 2033, more than 1 billion laptops, cellphones, and other electronic devices could be entering the U.S. waste stream each year. That’s according to a new study in Nature Sustainability that projects a dramatic increase in the amount and complexity of U.S. waste electronics in the decade ahead. If not properly recycled, this influx represents a growing cause for environmental concern as it... Read more
November 28, 2022
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) research scientist Hanna Breunig was named co-director of the Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC). Breunig serves as Deputy-Head of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department within the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts (EAEI) Division of Berkeley Lab. HyMARC was formed to address the scientific gaps... Read more
November 22, 2022
Diesel-fueled freight trucks play an outsized role in producing India’s total greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions. While the country has promoted policies to transition to electric vehicles for public transportation buses and cars, batteries that can power such large trucks have been too heavy and expensive to make their electrification possible. A new study from the Department of... Read more
November 22, 2022
This article was adapted from a release developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and was initially published at the Berkeley Lab News Center. Stor4Build is a new consortium on energy storage for buildings that will accelerate the growth, optimization, and deployment of storage technologies. The consortium will be co-led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley... Read more
November 8, 2022
Fred Buhl, a longtime member of the research staff in the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division’s Simulation Research Group, died on September 20, 2022, after a short illness. Fred was a senior scientific engineering associate at the time of his retirement in 2010. He received a Bachelor's degree in physics from Yale University in 1966 and began his career at the lab as a UC Berkeley... Read more
November 1, 2022
Smart fenestration systems such as automated shades or smart windows can autonomously manage glare and solar heat gains which not only reduces electricity bills by up to 30% while cutting peak demand in half, but also improves the health and well-being of occupants. Now, Berkeley Lab researchers have launched a key component for making these systems easier to install in buildings. That key... Read more
October 26, 2022
Falling costs for both renewable energy and battery storage create an opportunity for China to exceed its current policy goals for decarbonizing power while cutting energy costs and increasing energy security. A new study led by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) finds China could reach 80% carbon-free electricity by 2035 while reducing consumer costs. It could do... Read more
October 25, 2022
A recent segment on Al Jazeera English featured field research on arsenic removal initiated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Led by Ashok Gadgil, a physicist and senior faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area, scientists and engineers are testing a filtration system in rural California that can remove dangerous levels of arsenic from groundwater at... Read more
September 26, 2022
Chemical engineer Peng Peng is helping develop a 100% renewable energy grid by investigating new materials for storing hydrogen gas, which can be used like a battery to stash power generated from solar and wind farms. Watch the video to learn how Peng uses computer models to study how lab-scale material prototypes would perform at the industrial scale, and how much they would cost – accelerating... Read more
September 22, 2022
Berkeley Lab researchers reviewed evidence on using indoor engineering controls to reduce transmission risk Watch the related video on our youtube channel: youtu.be/fgNb6B9NZ2w Along with vaccines, masks, and testing, indoor air hygiene and building engineering controls will be key to slowing the spread of airborne, highly infectious variants of COVID-19. In a recent review in the journal Indoor... Read more
September 8, 2022
Only about 700 of the 5.9 million commercial buildings in the U.S. are net-zero. Why is that? Paul Mathew, head of the Whole Building Systems Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab), delves into this question on a recent episode of The Big Switch podcast. Mathew and host Melissa Lott discuss what he calls the “yawning adoption gap” for efficiency technologies in existing... Read more
August 24, 2022
By the middle of this century, temperatures in some California cities are expected to be in the triple digits for a third of the year. That’s dangerously hot. Heat already kills more people each year than any other weather-related disaster, including hurricanes, floods, or winter storms, and as the mercury rises the toll is expected to keep climbing. Researchers and scientists from across the... Read more
August 23, 2022
Multiple innovative technologies developed in the Energy Technologies Area of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been honored with a 2022 R&D 100 Award. The award, presented by R&D Magazine and selected by an independent panel of judges, recognizes the year’s 100 most innovative and disruptive technology products from... Read more
August 19, 2022
Consumers will save nearly $3 billion per year on utility bills and carbon emissions will be cut drastically over the next 30 years, thanks to two new rules for light bulbs recently adopted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The implementation of these new standards for energy efficiency is a thrilling achievement for the DOE Appliance Standards Program, supported by the small yet mighty... Read more
August 16, 2022
Wind energy continues to see strong growth, solid performance, and attractive prices in the U.S., according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). With levelized costs of just over $30 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for newly built projects, the cost of wind is well below its grid-system, health, and climate... Read more
August 15, 2022
Some smells seem to seep into everything they touch. Tobacco smoke is one of the worst offenders. Thirdhand smoke refers to residual nicotine and other hazardous chemicals that contaminate the indoor environment after smoking. Think of the lingering smell you’ve probably encountered when handling the clothes of a person who smokes a pack a day, or when checking into a tidy but cigarette-friendly... Read more
August 9, 2022
Etosha Cave, a former Cyclotron Road fellow and scientific entrepreneur now leading her own company, was featured in a recent episode of the Department of Energy (DOE’s) People Powered podcast. DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm led the episode's panel discussion, which focused on the ways Black women entrepreneurs are leading the nation’s clean energy transition. Cave is currently the Chief... Read more
August 4, 2022
Unprecedented heat waves, storms, and wildfires are pushing electrical grids in the United States to their limits. To work towards a safe and reliable power system in the coming years, utilities will need to factor the potential effects of climate change and extreme climate change-driven events into their plans for power distribution, generation capacity and back-up energy storage, and... Read more
July 29, 2022
Scientists have designed a new material system to overcome one of the biggest challenges in recycling consumer products: mixed-plastic recycling. Their achievement will help enable a much broader range of fully recyclable plastic products and brings into reach an efficient circular economy for durable goods like automobiles. We generate staggering quantities of plastic and plastic-containing... Read more
July 27, 2022
Gao Liu, leader of the Applied Energy Materials Group within the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), was recently named to the Electrochemical Society's 2022 Class of Fellows. Established in 1989, the Fellows of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) is a body of renowned scientists and engineers chosen for their scientific... Read more
July 27, 2022
Berkeley Lab has initiated a national public-private partnership to update and upgrade the Interruption Cost Estimate (ICE) Calculator—a publicly-available, online tool—which estimates the economic consequences of power interruptions. Information on the costs that customers experience when the lights go out is an important consideration for the planning and prioritization of improvements to... Read more
July 20, 2022
Converting petroleum into fuels involves crude chemistry first invented by humans in the 1800s. Meanwhile, bacteria have been producing carbon-based energy molecules for billions of years. Which do you think is better at the job? Well aware of the advantages biology has to offer, a group of biofuel experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) took inspiration from an... Read more
July 18, 2022
Game-changing technology that leads the United States into a clean energy future is one of the Department of Energy (DOE) goals highlighted in the first-ever LEEP Summit on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. LEEP, or Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program, trains the next generation of clean tech entrepreneurs, providing full-time support for two years along with access to the many unique resources,... Read more