News

June 14, 2021
A multidisciplinary Berkeley Lab team has been working for several years to develop a game-changing plastic that, unlike traditional plastics, can be recycled indefinitely and is not made from petroleum. Their latest milestone was the release of an analysis showing the feasibility and potential outcomes of launching the unique material, called poly(diketoenamine) or PDK, into the market at an... Read more
June 7, 2021
This month 11 scientists and engineers (pictured) will join the prestigious two-year fellowship program at Cyclotron Road based at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley. Selected from a record pool of 300 applicants, the 11 individuals will make up Cohort 2021 of Cyclotron Road. As part of their two-year fellowship they will work to bring... Read more
May 27, 2021
As more U.S. states and countries legalize medical and recreational marijuana, consumers are increasingly turning to new types of products that avoid toxic smoke inhalation. Researchers at Berkeley Lab who previously identified potentially harmful emissions from electronic cigarettes are now identifying the potential health risks of vaping cannabis. When a person vapes marijuana, they are inhaling... Read more
May 18, 2021
Fervo Energy, an advanced geothermal energy development company led by a Cyclotron Road alumni team, has been awarded $28 million in financing to continue the company’s mission of applying transformative geothermal technology to address climate change. In 2015, Fervo Co-Founder Tim Latimer left his career as a Texas drilling engineer in the oil and gas industry. He moved to California, studied... Read more
May 18, 2021
In a first, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover recently converted carbon dioxide on the Red Planet to oxygen. Christopher Graves, a fellow in Cyclotron Road’s 2018 cohort, helped develop the technology used to achieve this key milestone. Cyclotron Road is a division of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The atmosphere on Mars is 96% carbon dioxide... Read more
May 18, 2021
Sunlight-reflecting “cool walls” have been shown to reduce energy costs by lowering heat gain in buildings. But they do more – reflective walls can also cool cities, fighting the urban heat island effect. The concept has new support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which has issued a pilot credit for the installation of cool exterior walls in new homes, schools, and commercial... Read more
April 30, 2021
Newborn babies, particularly those born under-weight or preterm, are susceptible to hypothermia, since newborns are not yet able to maintain their own body heat. Hypothermia is recognized to be a significant contributor to newborn disease and death, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization and public health leaders have recommended best practices to prevent... Read more
April 27, 2021
Remote and island communities face high energy costs and vulnerable energy infrastructures, and are at increased risk of natural disasters and climate change impacts. Sustainable solutions that emphasize holistic energy planning are of paramount importance, yet advancing energy transition plans for these small communities is often difficult due to limited resources or capacity. The Department of... Read more
April 26, 2021
Mary Ann Piette, Berkeley Lab expert in building technology and energy efficiency, recently took part in an interview with “The Hill” on the “Sustainability Imperative” during a multi-day virtual event. Host Steve Clemons, editor-at-large for The Hill, pointed out that energy consumption in buildings is of primary importance because buildings account for more than 40% of energy use in the... Read more
April 21, 2021
Despite our efforts to sort and recycle, less than 9% of plastic gets recycled in the U.S., and most ends up in landfill or the environment. Biodegradable plastic bags and containers could help, but if they’re not properly sorted, they can contaminate otherwise recyclable #1 and #2 plastics. What’s worse, most biodegradable plastics take months to break down, and when they finally do, they... Read more
April 19, 2021
Concerns about climate change are driving a growing number of states, utilities, and corporations to set the goal of zeroing out power-sector carbon emissions. To date 17 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have adopted laws or executive orders to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity in the next couple of decades. Additionally, 46 U.S. utilities have pledged to go carbon free no later... Read more
April 16, 2021
A Q&A with Berkeley Lab researcher Hanna Breunig on technoeconomic analysis, and how she uses it to make negative emissions technologies more competitive For new energy technologies, the time elapsed from when a breakthrough is made in a laboratory setting until when it is validated, scaled up, piloted, and then widely commercialized can be years or even decades. But in the race to avoid the... Read more
April 16, 2021
Interest in hydrogen fuel cells as a sustainable source of clean energy is on the rise globally, and hydrogen fuel cells are widely seen as a viable, zero-emission option to power trucks, trains, ferries, and passenger vehicles. The heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) market could prove to be ideal for fuel cell development and deployment. Hydrogen fuel cells are well-suited for this market because of their... Read more
April 5, 2021
Leaders profiled in Department of Energy feature The future of energy depends on our ability to store it reliably, cheaply, and safely — whether to power electric vehicles, our buildings and factories, or to contribute to the clean grid of the future. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) -- including three lead scientists recently profiled by the Department of... Read more
April 1, 2021
India has set ambitious targets for renewable power, with plans to quintuple its current wind and solar energy capacity by 2030. The country’s transition away from fossil fuels will have a significant impact on global climate efforts, since it is the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter – although its per capita emissions are below the global average. A new study recently published... Read more
March 23, 2021
European battery manufacturer Northvolt recently acquired the U.S.-based battery technology company Cuberg, Inc., which was co-founded by Richard Wang, a 2016 fellow hosted at Cyclotron Road. Cuberg is one of the earliest companies supported at Cyclotron Road, the first Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) at Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)... Read more
March 18, 2021
Property taxes paid by wind energy projects are boosting school district revenues across the country. School districts are spending the new funds on capital improvements rather than putting them into classroom expenses, resulting in no change in academic outcomes, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Connecticut, Amherst College, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory... Read more
March 17, 2021
When it comes to electric vehicles, particularly for heavy-duty trucks, the limitations of battery technology are often seen as the main barrier to widespread adoption. However, a new analysis concludes that it’s the lack of appropriate policies around adoption incentives, charging infrastructure, and electricity pricing that prevents widespread electrification of commercial trucking fleets.... Read more
March 12, 2021
After several years of a research and development relationship, one of the largest window and door replacement companies in the U.S. announced the national launch of a new high-performance glass option for select replacement windows. The new glass option offers a “thin-glass” triple-pane glazing element that makes the window five times more insulating than a single-pane window, based upon a... Read more
February 8, 2021
More than 300 people attended the 2021 Annual Institute conference, with this year’s event focused on sustaining healthy and energy efficient buildings through technician education. Key presentations were given by Lawrence Berkeley National Labortaory (Berkeley Lab) staff, including Mary Ann Piette, pictured, Division Director of Building Technology & Urban Systems (BTUS) in the Energy... Read more
January 26, 2021
Heating and cooling buildings is a large part of global energy demand and a significant source of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, and in the coming decades the energy demand for heating and cooling - also known as thermal energy - is expected to grow considerably. Scientists and engineers have made many advances in lowering building energy demand by improving energy efficiency in building... Read more
January 14, 2021
One of the aspects of lithium-ion batteries least understood by scientists has now been elucidated by a new research approach, opening the door to major improvements in battery performance, according to a new study by Berkeley Lab scientists. Their study, recently published in the journal Joule, used a technique developed by Berkeley Lab battery scientists in the Energy Technologies Area to... Read more
January 14, 2021
In 10 years of studying thirdhand smoke, which is the toxic cigarette residue that clings to virtually all indoor surfaces for months or years, Berkeley Lab scientist Hugo Destaillats said the most frequent question he hears from the public is how to remediate property where a smoker once lived. Remediation companies frequently use ozone generators to eliminate odors from mold, tobacco, and fire... Read more
January 7, 2021
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) — including Ravi Prasher — collaborated to write an article on energy, which was recently awarded the best peer-reviewed article for general readers by the American Energy Society. Prasher, associate laboratory director of the Energy Technologies Area... Read more
January 7, 2021
The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has named Rachel Slaybaugh, associate professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, to lead Berkeley Lab’s Cyclotron Road Division. The announcement follows an international search. Until recently, Slaybaugh served as a program director at DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), whose mission... Read more