News

September 4, 2021
BETTER wins the 2020 LBNL Director's Award for Exceptional Achievement in Technology Transfer which recognizes the BETTER team's exemplary efforts in building relationships with industry to advance the science of data-driven, remote building energy analysis to improve building energy efficiency at speed and scale worldwide. https://recognition.lbl.gov/2020-laureates/... Read more
September 1, 2021
Science innovators are invited to apply for the two-year fellowship program hosted at Cyclotron Road, an opportunity to advance hard technologies that have the potential for broad societal impact from concept to viable first product. Cyclotron Road is a division of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The fellowship program is run in partnership with... Read more
September 1, 2021
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in collaboration with their partners in the US and Germany, envision a future of safe, high-performance rechargeable lithium-metal (Li-metal) batteries in a recent publication by Nature Reviews. Today’s rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries —the type commonly found in electric vehicles,... Read more
August 31, 2021
Wind energy continues to see strong growth, solid performance, and low 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 benefits.... Read more
August 17, 2021
The journal Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy dedicated its May issue to Rick Russo, a former senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and founder of the Laser Technologies Group, in honor of his 70th birthday. Russo is one of the most influential scientists in the field of laser ablation spectroscopy and the recipient of a Berkeley Lab Prize Lifetime... Read more
August 16, 2021
With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), Berkeley Lab has developed a cost-effective thermoelectric waste-heat recovery system to reduce electricity-related carbon emissions. Industries such as the glass, cement, power, and steel sectors expel a huge amount of high-temperature waste heat. Converting this waste heat cost effectively to electricity can provide a... Read more
August 16, 2021
With rising interest in backup power, storage of solar energy, and electric vehicles, the race is on to improve the performance of rechargeable lithium batteries. A Berkeley Lab team has developed an easy, fast, and inexpensive method to measure battery performance. Led by Ravi Prasher and Sean Lubner of the Energy Technologies Area, the new technique uses thermal waves to measure local lithium... Read more
July 30, 2021
All seventeen U.S. national laboratories and many prominent publishers, journals, and other organizations in scientific publishing announced today the beginning of a partnership to support name change requests from researchers on past published papers. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is coordinating the effort. This agreement will allow researchers who wish to change their... Read more
July 22, 2021
Companies like Purple Air and IQAir, with air pollution sensors that cost under $300, have brought air quality monitoring to the masses. But when Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Tom Kirchstetter looked at Purple Air’s map last year during wildfire season, he noticed a big hole in Richmond, a city of 110,000 to the north of Berkeley. “You can see what appears to... Read more
July 22, 2021
Since buildings consume 75% of electricity in the U.S., they offer great potential for saving energy and reducing the demands on our rapidly changing electric grid. But how much, where, and through which strategies could better management of building energy use actually impact the electricity system? A comprehensive new study led by researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley... Read more
July 16, 2021
Windows make up 7% of the envelope area of a home but can account for 47% of the envelope heat loss. High-performance windows thus represent a significant opportunity for consumers to be more comfortable and save money – and help reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions while doing so. Now Berkeley Lab is teaming up with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), the Pacific... Read more
July 12, 2021
Bryan McCloskey, professor in UC Berkeley College of Chemistry and a chemical faculty engineer affiliated with the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division at Berkeley Lab, has been awarded the 2021 Tajima Prize. The honor from the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) recognizes McCloskey’s outstanding contributions to electrochemistry on the basis of his published work.... Read more
June 24, 2021
Key findings from the 2020 China Energy Outlook report — which outlines a path for continuous improvement of energy efficiency and emissions through 2050 in China — were recently highlighted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel summarized the analysis of China’s current energy policies and trends. While China has taken steps... Read more
June 23, 2021
The Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER), a technology that identifies cost-saving energy reductions in building portfolios, continues to win accolades and support from researchers and investors alike. Already the winner of multiple awards, including an R&D 100, recognizing it as one of 2020’s most innovative and disruptive technologies, BETTER recently became a... Read more
June 23, 2021
In our future electrified world, the demand for battery storage is projected to be enormous, reaching to upwards of 2 to 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual battery production by 2030, from less than 0.5 TWh today. However, concerns are growing as to whether key raw materials will be adequate to meet this future demand. The lithium-ion battery – the dominant technology for the foreseeable future... Read more
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