R&D 100 Awards
Since 1963, R&D Magazine has honored inventors by identifying the 100 most technologically significant products and advancements for each year and recognizing the winning innovators and their organizations. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has received 87 of these coveted R&D 100 Awards since we began submitting entries in 1969. You can see these winners by clicking on any of the years listed here. For more information on the Laboratory's R&D 100 Awards, contact Diane Kahler.
Jump to: 2011
Array Detection Technology for Mass Spectrometry - David Koppenaal, Charles Barinaga (PNNL); Bonner Denton, Roger Sperline (University of Arizona); Gary Hieftje, James Barnes, Greg Schilling, Steve Ray, Jeremy Felton (Indiana University); Eugene Atlas (iMAGERLABS); Dirk Ardelt (SPECTRO Analytical Instruments/Ametek). Contact: Dave Koppenaal.
The Array Detection Technology for Mass Spectrometry represents a breakthrough in mass spectrometry detectors, employing thousands of micro-fabricated detectors arranged in a dense array and electronically integrated into a single monolithic chip-based device to simultaneously monitor and detect wide mass ranges. This allows the entire composition of a test sample to be analyzed in a single run, which saves time, increases efficiency, and considerably simplified the analysis process. Conventional detectors have historically only been able to detect a single mass or a small range of masses at one time, meaning all other chemical information for a given analysis was lost or undetected, and multiple scans or runs were required to detect and analyze an entire chemical sample. This new technology—developed in collaboration with the University of Arizona, Indiana University, and California-based iMAGERLABS—is highly desirable for a number of analytical applications, some of which include nonproliferation monitoring, forensics, environmental monitoring, and industrial hygiene. It is licensed to SPECTRO/Ametek, who launched the first commercial implementation of the detector in a mass spectrometry instrument product in 2010.
Dynaforge—A Solid-State Dynamic Powder Compaction Process for Production of High-Performance Tools and Dies - Darrell Herling, Yuri Hovanski, Siva Pilli (PNNL); Louis Lherbier, David Novotnak (Carpenter Powder Products). Contact: Darrell Herling.
From windshields to paperclips to house keys, to toy cars, to the nuts and bolts that hold furniture together—there are thousands of items that we use in our everyday lives that are mass produced using specialized tooling and die sets. Such processes require exceptionally high temperatures to produce the items, requiring tools that can withstand the tremendous stress put on them during production; a need the industry hasn't had a solid answer for until now. Dynaforge is a new commercial process for manufacturing tools and dies that are more resistant to extremely high temperatures and stresses. Developed by Pennsylvania-based Carpenter Powder Products, and extensively tested, analyzed, and refined with the help of researchers at PNNL, the Dynaforge process improves tooling and die life by an average of five times, lowering the frequency and relative direct and indirect costs of downtime to replace broken tooling, and thus the long-term cost per part. Its principal market is in automobile manufacturing for primary hot forming processes such as die casting of metal parts for the power train, and forging for suspension and steering components.
GammaTracker™ - Carolyn Seifert, Mitch Myjak, Scott J. Morris, Les Kirihara, Michael Batdorf, Brion Burghard, Luke Erikson, Ryan Slaugh, Duane Balvage, John Rohrer, Michael Hughes (PNNL); Zhong He, Feng Zhang (University of Michigan); Douglas Lee (Kansas City Plant). Contact: Cari Seifert.
The GammaTracker is an automated, rugged, low-power handheld radioisotope detection unit with sensitivity on par with existing competing alternatives, but with better resolution and increased source identification reliability in a much smaller, self-contained package. And, for the first time ever in handheld radioisotope detection, the GammaTracker can point users to the direction of gamma-ray sources in real time using a generated visual distribution map.
The technology is the result of a key collaboration between PNNL, the Kansas City Plant, and the University of Michigan.
IncubATR™ - the Live-Cell Monitor - SK Sundaram, Brian Riley, Thomas Weber, Colette Sacksteder, R. Shane Addleman (PNNL); John Peterman (Simplex Scientific). Contact: S.K. Sundaram.
The ability to test live cells is critical to observing true cell behavior in many applications in the areas of biomaterials, nanomaterials, product evaluation for potential health hazards, drug testing, and screening for medical and pharmaceutical biomarkers. The ability to do so reliably will accelerate material, biological, and medical discovery and innovation; reduce laboratory and industry costs; and, limit the need for live-animal testing in some applications. Designed specifically for Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scientists at PNNL invented the IncubATR-the Live-Cell Monitor (IncubATR) to provide a cost-effective rapid-screening option for achieving these goals. The technology is licensed to Middleton, Wisconsin-based Simplex Scientific, who is currently developing a commercial version of the product.
Ion Mobility Spectrometer on a Microchip - Alexandre Shvartsburg, Keqi Tang, Dick Smith (PNNL); Paul (Billy) Boyle, Andrew Koehl, David Ruiz-Alonso, Danielle Toutoungi (Owlstone Ltd). Contact: Alex Shvartsburg.
The Ion Mobility Spectrometer on a Microchip is a new, miniaturized device that accelerates the speed of analyses using ion mobility separations by over 100 times, enabling capabilities for rapid and confident monitoring of a broad range of chemicals at very low concentrations. Capitalizing on the leading-edge nanofabrication techniques of partner Owlstone Nanotech and the latest developments in Field Asymmetric waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) at PNNL, the dime-sized device employs a scalable multichannel architecture for high-speed separations of ions in the gas phase. It can easily be integrated with an air sampler, ionization source, and detector to yield a powerful gas analyzer and a chemical monitor in a portable, self-contained unit. Current primary applications for this technology include explosive and chemical warfare agent detection and, when integrated with mass spectrometry, complex proteomic and metabolomic sample analysis.
Propylene Glycol from Renewable Sources - Alan Zacher, John Frye (PNNL); Todd Werpy (Archer Daniels Midland Company); James F. White (3RiversCatalysis LLC). Contact: Alan Zacher.
Propylene glycol, used to make the chemicals needed to produce everyday industrial and consumer products, has historically only been produced from petroleum–about 2-to-2.5 billion pounds of it per year to meet U.S. demand alone–to the detriment of the natural environment. The Propylene Glycol from Renewable Sources (PGRS) process offers an environmentally friendly, cost-competitive and commercially viable alternative by converting plant-based, seed-oil-derived glycerol, sugars, or sugar alcohols to propylene glycol. The PGRS process is licensed to Archer Daniels Midland Company, which has recently completed construction on a full-scale production facility for the purpose of mass-manufacturing and commercializing the renewable chemical product.
Micro Power Source - Mark Gross, Gordon Graff, Jiguang (Jason) Zhang, Wendy Bennett, Charles Bonham (PNNL); David Stein, Carlos Sanchez, Darlene Udoni, Rob Jarecki, Randy Shul, Doug Greth, Christine Ford, Todd Bauer (Sandia National Laboratories); Simon Nieh (Front Edge Technology, Inc); Jenn-Ming Yang, Yuhuan Xu (UCLA Henry Samuel School of Engineering and Applied Science). Contact: Mark Gross.
A joint effort with Sandia National Laboratories, Front Edge Technology Inc, and the UCLA Henry Samuel School of Engineering and Applied Science, Micro Power Source combines five innovations, including an ultra-thin sealing material developed at PNNL, into an ultra-small form factor, self-charging power source encapsulated in a polymer coating. It functions by integrating a lithium-ion based solid-state battery with a thin photovoltaic collector, resulting in an environmentally friendly power source with likely applications including self-power smart cards, environmental sensors, and tags for material tracking. The new technology has been licensed to Front Edge.
Perpetua Power Puck™ - John DeSteese, Larry Olsen (PNNL); Paul McClelland, Jon Hofmeister (Perpetua Power Source Technologies).
Electricity can be created by processing heat associated with naturally occurring temperature differences in the environment. This essentially inexhaustible source of heat can be converted into electrical power sufficient to run compact, low-power devices like wireless sensors for decades. The Perpetua Power Puck™ harvests energy from its surrounding environment with the capability for replacing outright conventional chemical batteries.
The Power Puck is a renewable energy source that has no moving parts, which makes it more efficient and cost-effective than other technologies. The technology can save time and money in situations where information needs to be collected and power sources need to be maintained at remote sites, such as dams, bridges and pipelines. These energy harvesters are expected to last as long as the sensors and transmitters they power.
The Perpetua Power Puck is being marketed for industrial automation, military, energy efficient buildings and other applications. It is based on technology developed at PNNL called the Thermoelectric Ambient Energy Harvester [PNNL news release] and licensed to Perpetua Power Source Technologies, based in Corvallis, Ore. PNNL received the R&D 100 award in partnership with Perpetua.
Ultrasensitive Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Source & Interface - Richard Smith, Ryan Kelly, Jason Page, and Keqi Tang.
Scientists at PNNL have achieved a 40-fold increase in the sensitivity of mass spectrometry instrumentation that will benefit applications in human health, the environment, and pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries. The Ultrasensitive ESI-MS Source & Interface integrates four technologies to provide greater sensitivity and precise measurements while requiring smaller samples.
Mass spectrometry instrumentation enables the analysis and identification of broad types of samples and ranges of chemical compounds. It's commonly used for environmental and health analyses, as well as by industry for pharmaceutical and petrochemical product development. The most broadly useful methods for chemical and biochemical samples use electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS).
PNNL's improved ESI-MS instrumentation can measure amounts of compounds in a sample very precisely, even when very little material is available - which is especially important when sample sizes are limited, such as from microbiopsies of human tissue.
PNNL scientists are using the improved sensitivity in studies to develop biomarkers for early disease diagnosis, drug target discovery and basic biological research. The laboratory is also engaged in a collaboration with a major vendor of mass spectrometry instruments to further explore the benefits of the new ESI-MS system.
Grid Friendly™ Appliance Controller - Robert Pratt, David Chassin, Jeffery Dagle, Donald Hammerstrom, Larry Reid, Michael Kintner-Meyer, Paul Boyd. Contact: Robert Pratt.
The GFA Controller is a small circuit board built into household appliances that reduces stress on the power grid by continually monitoring fluctuations in available power. During times of high demand, appliances equipped with the controller automatically shut down for a short period of time, resulting in a cumulative reduction that can maintain stability on the grid. The GFA Controller received a Federal Laboratory Consortium award for Excellence in Technology Transfer in 2007.
Multi-Scale Materials Integrated Processing Method - S.K. Sundaram, Mike Schweiger, Brad Johnson, Brian Riley (PNNL); Brett MacIsaac (Battelle); Juliana Olmstead (former grad student). Contact: S.K. Sundaram.
This technology is the only integrated, single-step process materials fabrication method that generates nano- to macro-sized materials with identical chemistry characteristics for use in materials science research and development applications. The ability to create these materials from one process reduces the risk of impurities in these materials and improves consistency. The result is higher-quality products that can be used for advanced materials, components, devices, and their integration by materials scientists, engineers, designers and users for broad range of applications.
Battelle-RDF: Environmentally Benign and Reduced Corrosion Runway Deicing Fluid - Satya Chauhan, Nick Conkle, Melissa Roshon (Battelle); Bill Samuels (PNNL). Contact: Satya Chauhan or Bill Samuels.
The D3 is a family of non-toxic biodegradable fluids used to remove and prevent the formation of snow and ice on aircraft, airport runways, roads, and pavement. It can also prevent snow from sticking to deiced surfaces, providing additional protection.
Removing ice and snow from these types of surfaces is a high priority to ensure transportation safety worldwide, but the high toxicity levels of previous deicing products posed environmental threats. D3 was developed to be more environmentally friendly and is manufactured primarily from bio-based materials. The material substantially reduces toxicity levels and potential environmental damage while providing the same performance and benefits of other commercial deicing products.
Velocys-FT: Fischer Tropsch Fuels Using Velocys Microchannel Technology - Jeff McDaniel, Terry Manzanec, Anna Lee Tonkovich, Laura Silva, Frank Daly, Kai Jarosch, Tim Sullivan, Sean Fitzgerald, Maddalena Fanelli, Rachid Tacha, Bob Litt, Wayne Simmons, Jenn Marco, Mike Lamont, Jeff Marco, Eric Daymo, Harley Freeman, Luke Schrader, Ravi Arora, Dongming Qiu, Paul Neagle, Mike Marchiando, Tom Yuschak, Steve Perry, Bin Yang, Soumitra Deshmukh, Bob Luzenski, Dave Kilanowski, Jan Lerou (Velocys, Inc.); Yong Wang, Dean Matson (PNNL); Satya Chauhan, Brad Chadwell, Christopher Brandon (Battelle). Contact: Jeff McDaniel.
Velocys-FT is an advanced reactor technology that greatly reduces the size and cost of second-generation biofuel facilities. First-generation biofuels, including corn ethanol and biodiesel, are prevalent today but are an interim solution because they use food crops for raw material. Next-generation biofuels, ones that use non-food biomass, are a more sustainable choice. Velocys-FT can help next-generation biofuels be produced more inexpensively at smaller-scale facilities. Primary benefits include favorable economics at smaller scales, more easily deployed and modular units and improved heat transfer. Velocys led its development with contributions from Battelle and PNNL.
Functionalized Nanoporous Thin Films (FNTF) - R. Shane Addleman, Glen Fryxell, Richard Skaggs, Xiaohong Shari Li. Contact: Shane Addleman or Rick Skaggs.
FNTF is used to coat sampling discs that can then be used to easily capture and concentrate heavy metal contaminants in water sources. The FNTF sampling discs can then be quickly analyzed with X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to detect the presence of toxic metals. The FNTF technology significantly expands and enhances sampling and testing capabilities, resulting in the ability to test water for virtually every heavy metal with potential to negatively affect human health and the environment. The technology also increases sensitivity by more than a thousand times the previous capability. The technology was developed with PANalytical, an international supplier of analytical instrumentation and software for X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.
PNNL's FNTF technology was also recognized in the September 2007 issue of R&D Magazine as one of the top 25 micro- and nanotechnologies of the year.
Microchannel Gas-Liquid Processing Device - Ward TeGrotenhuis, V. Susie Stenkamp, Feng (Richard) Zheng. Contact: Ward TeGrotenhuis.
This technology manages heat and recovers water to balance consumption in fuel cell systems and fuel processors. Its compact size and ability to operate in a wide range of conditions make it ideal for use in portable or mobile fuel cell applications including vehicles, auxiliary power supplies, and electronics systems. The device is also useful for distilling diesel fuel to aid in removing sulfur so that it can be converted to hydrogen. It was developed with funding from NASA and DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office.
Universal Parsing Agent (UPA) - Alex Gibson, Mark Whiting, James Brown, Wendy Cowley, Nick Cramer, Patricia Medvick, Dennis McQuerry, Anne Schur, Ryan Scott, Marie Whyatt. Contact: Alex Gibson.
The UPA is a document analysis and transformation software program that accepts multiple information streams or datasets, finds and extracts the information needed, and delivers results in the format that will be most useful. It is flexible and adaptable to individual user needs, and can be used to identify and extract very specific or very broad ranges of information. UPA was developed for a variety of U.S. government clients. Most recently a version was deployed at the Environmental Protection Agency to support a large web content management system. UPA may be used anywhere people fight battles with information overload. Applications currently range from supporting our government's Global War on Terror to commercial business intelligence efforts.
The Cesium-131 Brachytherapy Seed - Larry Greenwood, Mark Murphy, Darrell Fisher, Deborah Coffey, Chuck Soderquist, Roman Piper (PNNL), David Swanberg, Donald Segna, Lane Bray, Garrett Brown, Matthew Bales, Clay O’Laughlin, (IsoRay Medical), Christopher Smith (Intellegration); James Madsen (Columbia Basin Consulting Group), Leroy Korb (Cancer Care Center, Warren, PA). Contact: Larry Greenwood or David Swanberg.
This powerful new prostate cancer treatment developed jointly by IsoRay and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been acclaimed by doctors as the most significant advance in seed implant therapy in more than 15 years. The ground-breaking IsoRay cesium-131 brachytherapy seed has been FDA-cleared to deliver a precisely measured radiation dose to malignant tumors of the prostate as well as other major organs. The seed’s innovative design delivers its therapeutic radiation faster and more evenly than other radioisotopes and its short half-life minimizes and provides faster resolution of side effects associated with radiation therapy.
e-RESS: revolutionary nanoparticulate coating process - John Fulton, George Deverman, Clement Yonker, (PNNL), James McClain, Charles Douglas Taylor, James DeYoung (Micell Technologies). Contact: John Fulton.
The e-RESS (Electro-State Rapid Expansion of Supercritical fluids) process is a new method to deposit nanoparticulate coatings in a few simple processing steps, and is expected to give cardio-implant patients the comfort of better drug delivery and longer implant integrity. The e-RESS technology provides a method for inhibiting the rate of tissue re-growth over medical implants, such as vascular stents, which should result in longer-lived stents and reduce the need for replacement surgeries. The e-RESS process also provides a method for combining coating elements to improve control over time-release properties of therapeutic agents.
Surface-Induced Mineralization Technique for Calcium-Phosphate Coatings Incorporating Therepeutic Agents (SIM) - Allison Campbell, Peter Rieke, Xiahong Shari Li, Barbara Tarasevich, (PNNL), Lin Song, Marisol Avila. Contact: Allison Campbell.
SIM is a novel water-based technique that allows a biocompatible calcium-phosphate coating enhanced with a therapeutic agent to be deposited on orthopedic implants and other medical devices, such as catheters and stents. The coatings can reduce or eliminate bacteria growth that causes post-surgical infection. The water-based deposition process combined with therapeutic agents also allows for enhanced bone bonding of artificial joints by providing an advanced method for applying pure calcium-phosphate coatings, which are a natural component of bone.
Ti MIM: a new technique for Titanium Metal Injection Molding - Eric Nyberg, Kevin Simmons, K. Scott Weil, (PNNL). Contact: Eric Nyberg.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a process that speeds up production time and could dramatically reduce costs for forming high-quality titanium parts, without generating toxic waste that requires disposal. The Ti MIM process incorporates a proprietary binder for injection molding of titanium that reduces or eliminate impurities in the metal, as well as reducing the time and cost of producing strong, lightweight, corrosion-resistant titanium parts for use in the biomedical, automotive and aerospace industries.
MilliWave Thermal Analyzer - SK Sundaram, (PNNL), Paul Woskov, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) William Daniel, Jr., (Savannah River National Laboratory). Contact: SK Sundaram.
The MilliWave Thermal Analyzer, developed jointly by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Savannah River National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is a thermal analysis instrument that uses millimeter-wave electromagnetic radiation to measure the temperature, amount of energy emitted, and physical change of materials, processes, and systems. This technology can function under extreme environments (such as very high temperatures) because contact is not required between the instrumentation and the materials; therefore, sampling of the materials is not required and the measurements can be made in real-time.
The Morning Report: Advanced Proactive Safety and System Monitoring Tool - Thomas A. Ferryman (PNNL), Brett G. Amidan (PNNL), Irving C. Statler (NASA Ames), Thomas R. Chidester (NASA Ames), Loren J. Rosenthal (BMI), Robert E. Lynch (Flight Safety Consultants), Gary L. Prothero (ProWorks Corp) and Robert E. Lawrence (Safe Flight). Contact: Tom Ferryman.
*R&D Magazine's 2005 Editors' Choice Award for "Product with the Greatest Impact on Safety"
The Morning Report is a computational tool used to analyze large datasets of aviation information collected by onboard aircraft instruments. The software and algorithms can be extended to other domain applications to monitor massive amounts of data and identify typical patterns and atypical events thus enabling domain experts to monitor complex systems.
Continuous analysis of flight data can be used by aviation safety experts and airline policy makers to determine subtle but potentially serious safety issues. Every day The Morning Report analyzes gigabytes of the day's flight information and presents data the next morning in tabular or graphical reports. The reports allow aviation safety experts to rapidly pinpoint anomalies, share information with other decision makers and possibly prevent accidents. While the technology utilizes complex mathematical and statistical algorithms it is easy to operate via a simple desk-top application.
This is the first technology developed that can use a new paradigm in data-intensive computing to distill “insight” from massive amounts of data covering numerous nuances, including un-envisioned nuances, of thousands of flights to make aviation safer. Before The Morning Report, there was no way for all of these data to be boiled down into a form that would be useful to aviation safety experts or airline policy makers. The mathematics of The Morning Report reveal events and conditions that could be prerequisite to situations that flight safety experts had not perceived as problematic or even knew were occurring during routine flights. Once recognized, the airlines have the insight to rectify these practices before they become a safety problem—and before lives are lost.
The Morning Report award is shared with co-developers: NASA Ames Research Center, Battelle, Flight Safety Consultants, ProWorks Corporation and Safe Flight.
More information about this technology, including a 5-minute movie, can be found at PNNL's Statistical Sciences website.
BSP3 Polymer - Jay W. Grate (PNNL), Steven N. Kaganove
(Michigan Molecular Institute), David A. Nelson (PNNL) Contact: Jay
A novel carbosiloxane polymer has been developed at Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory (PNNL) that can be used in chemical detector systems to detect
airborne chemical agents such as nerve agents that might be used in a terrorist
attack. The patented polymer (“BSP3”) has been licensed to BAE
Systems, which is developing the ChemSentryTM 150C chemical vapor detector
system. The polymer coats the surface of a sensor chip in the chemical detector
and absorbs vapor molecules from the air so the sensor can detect them. Chemical
detectors can be used as counter terrorism devices to monitor the safety of
air in buildings and subways and to protect first responders at terrorist
incidents or chemical accidents. Compared it to its predecessor polymer, fluoropolyol,
BSP3 made sensors four times more sensitive to nerve agents. In surface acoustic
wave (SAW) sensor array systems using a preconcentrator, the BSP3 polymer
enabled faster detection to lower concentrations than was previously possible.
Polymers applied to the surfaces of SAW sensors determine their sensitivity
and selectivity by collecting and concentrating vapor molecules from the gas
phase onto the sensor surface by reversible sorption. The BSP3 polymer has
been designed and synthesized especially for sensors in array-based chemical
detectors. Each sensor in a sensor array system has a different coating, so
the collective responses of the array provide a characteristic pattern, or
“fingerprint” to a given analyte vapor. When chemical vapors are
detected, the pattern of responses from the array is used to recognize and
distinguish one chemical compound from another. Compared to other sensing
polymers, BSP3 has an exceptionally strong capability to absorb toxic organophosphorus
compounds such as nerve agents, leading to high sensitivity and distinctive
array patterns. BSP3 is superior for use in nerve agent sensing because it
has both the necessary chemical interaction properties and the desired physical
properties to provide rapid and sensitive chemical sensor responses. When
used in arrays designed for other applications such as environmental monitoring,
industrial hygiene, and process control, BSP3 increases the chemical diversity
of coatings and thereby improves the sensor’s capability to distinguish
one compound from another.
D3: Degradable by Design Deicer™ (Joint
entry with Battelle Memorial Institute)—Satya Chauhan (Battelle Memorial
Institute), H. Nick Conkle (Battelle Memorial Institute), William Samuels
(PNNL), Sara Fauss Kuczek (Battelle Memorial Institute), Marisol Avila (PNNL),
John Frye (PNNL), Kevin Simmons (PNNL)
Contact: Satya Chauhan
The D3: Degradable by Design Deicer™ is composed of a family
of non-toxic, biodegradable fluids used to remove and prevent the formation
of ice on military and commercial aircrafts, military and commercial runways,
and roadways or pavement. The D3 is made from biobased materials
and has less environmental impact on receiving waters, is much less corrosive
and is less toxic than existing fluid and solid deicers.
Intellifit System—Douglas L. McMakin, Dale Collins,
James M. Prince, Thomas E. Hall, David M. Sheen, Wayne M. Lechelt, Paul E.
Keller, Ronald H. Severtsen (all PNNL)
Contact: Doug McMakin
*R&D Magazine's Editors' Choice Award for "Most Promising New Technology of 2004"
The Intellifit System is a first-of-its kind cylindrical holographic imaging
technology that can perform a 360-degree whole body scan in less than 10 seconds.
The Intellifit scanner uses a millimeter wave array/transceiver technology
which bounces off the body reflecting more than 200,000 points in space. The
array/transceiver illuminates the human body standing within the cylinder
with extremely low-powered millimeter waves—a class of non-ionizing
radiation not harmful to humans—that penetrates clothing and reflects
off the body. The reflected signals are collected by the array/transceiver
and sent to a high-speed image processing computer where the Intellifit software
converts that “point-cloud” into dozens of precise body measurements
forming a high-resolution 3D image of the body.
The Intellifit System, a commercialization of PNNL’s millimeter wave
holographic scanner, provides significant, credible technology that will inexpensively
solve a large part of the product markdown/return problem for apparel retailers
and manufacturers, and the consumers who are buying and returning their clothing.
The Intellifit System adds value to every participant in the clothing buying
cycle—from the designer, to the manufacturer, to the retailer, to the
customer. Intellifit allows designers to understand who their customers are
and how, in the real world, they are sized, shaped, and proportioned. Intellifit
Specifications and Patterns help manufacturers, anywhere in the world, create
garments that fit real people in their targeted demographic.
Parallel commercialization of another embodiment of this technology is taking
place on the security front. This application of the technology is called
D3P, Dual Panel Planar Portal, and could minimize the extra delays of searches
with hand-held metal detectors and the indignity of physical searches to resolve
ambiguous alarms. The D3P can harmlessly and quickly scan a person and generate
an image with such clarity that all the items inside the clothing and shoes
of that person are recognizable, regardless of the materials from which they
Single-Chain Antibody Library—Michael J. Feldhaus
(PNNL), K. Dane Wittrup (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Lee K.
Opresko (PNNL), Robert W. Siegel (PNNL), H. Steven Wiley (PNNL)
Developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), the Single-Chain Antibody Library provides
researchers with an easy-to-grow library of more than one billion artificial
antibodies. These antibodies—produced by genetically engineered brewer’s
yeast—offer an inexpensive method for creating and producing antibodies
for research. Antibodies play an increasingly important role in the biomedical
and pharmaceutical industries as effective tools for recognizing specific
molecules. For example, in medical treatments, antibodies are injected
into the body to seek out specific proteins on cancerous cells, and target
treatment to those cells. Biowarfare sensors can also use antibodies to
detect proteins associated with harmful agents. Antibodies also are expected
to play a major role in helping scientists to more fully understand various
biological processes by identifying which proteins are present in a given
functional state and if they interact with other specific proteins in
Nanomolar-affinity scFvs (single chain Fragment variables)
are routinely obtained by magnetic bead screening and flow cytometric sorting.
This yields clones of yeast cells that contain the gene encoding the scFv.
The biochemical and biophysical properties of the scFv clones can be evaluated
directly on the yeast cell surface by immunofluorescent labeling and flow
cytometry, eliminating the separate subcloning, expression, and purification
steps typically necessary to find and extract unique antibodies. Using multiple
antigens to screen the library simultaneously saves the researcher an enormous
amount of time – days as compared to weeks or months with other current
technologies. The ability to use multiplex library screening allows this approach
to be used for high-throughput antibody isolation necessary for proteomics
PNNL’s Single-Chain Antibody Library could replace the need to produce
antibodies using animals and presents new possibilities for rapidly designing
medical treatments more compatible with the human immune system. It provides
greater benefit over similar but older technologies by: using a novel identification
process that allows researchers to screen and identify needed antibodies,
in days rather than months; saving research dollars by reducing time and labor
cost; enabling the rapid reproduction of selected antibodies; and controlling
the expression of antibodies to allow library expansion while maintaining
FT-MS Proteome Express— , Harold R. Udseth, Gordon A. Anderson (PNNL), Mark A. Wingerd, and
Mikhail E. Belov (former PNNL staff). Contact: Richard
This breakthrough technology not only significantly accelerates proteome
analysis but also provides accuracy and depth never previously reached in
proteomic studies. It is the first-ever high-throughput Fourier-transform
ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-MS) with an unprecedented ability
to characterize and identify proteins, especially those that exist in small
quantities. It provides quantitative analyses of “proteomes,”
the collection of proteins that make up a cell or organism under a specific
set of conditions at a specific time.
This capability enables application of the FT-MS Proteome Express to understanding
the role proteins play in diseases, such as cancer, and provides a basis for
developing treatment drugs. The FT-MS Proteome Express will revolutionize
the scientific community’s ability to understand biological systems
and to develop biotechnological solutions for the nation’s most pressing
energy and environmental problems.
Product Acoustic Signature System (PASS)—Aaron
Diaz, William C. Cliff, Richard A. Pappas, Brion J. Burghard, James R. Skorpik,
Larry D. Reid, Juan D. Valencia, Brian J. Tucker, Kayte M. Judd, Joe C. Harris,
Todd J. Samuel, O. Dennis Mullen. Contact: Aaron
PASS is an acoustic inspection device that uses ultrasonic pulse echo technology
to non-intrusively interrogate and identify the contents of sealed containers.
With PASS in hand, Customs inspectors can tell if the tanker truck or barrel
in front of them contains crude oil, vegetable oil, or chemical weapons agents.
PASS can also detect hidden packages and compartments and determine the container’s
fill level - all without having to open lids and conduct time-consuming, potentially
hazardous physical sampling and searches.
PASS was developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and is licensed
to Mehl, Griffin, & Bartek, Ltd. which is manufacturing and marketing
the device. It gives Customs officials a valuable tool in their efforts to
identify weapons of mass destruction, stop smuggling, enforce tariffs, and
deter illicit drug trafficking. PASS also provides one of the safest, simplest
means available for inspecting chemical weapons and for uncovering weapons
smugglers at international borders. While it helps keep commerce moving, PASS
provides that ounce of prevention critical to homeland security and can play
an integral role in the verification activities needed to help maintain world
The Starlight Information
Visualization System—John S. Risch, John D. Pinto, Scott T. Dowson,
Michelle L. Hart, Wes L. Hatley, Brian D. Moon, Bruce Rex (PNNL); Edward R.
(Randy) Woodson III (Battelle Alexandria Operations (BCO)), Edwin C. “Chuck”
Knutson (Object Sciences Corp.), Richard Leenstra, Lance Otis, and Tom Bougan
(Applied Technical Systems, Inc.), Anne Kao, Steve Poteet, Jason Wu, William
Ferng, Ole Larsen, Shan Luh, Dan Pierce, and Andrew Booker (Boeing Phantom
Works). Contact: John S. Risch
Starlight launches a new generation in visualization technology by uncovering
key relationships hidden in large, complex, dynamic information collections.
Unlike other technologies, Starlight integrates structured, unstructured,
spatial, and multimedia data, offering comparisons of information at multiple
levels of abstraction – simultaneously and in near real-time.
Starlight is unlike any other information analysis tool. It is designed
to capture and graphically depict complex relationships in data from multiple
information sources. By making such relationships simultaneously visible Starlight
enables exciting, rapid, and powerful new forms of concurrent information
exploitation. The result is an unprecedented approach to information management
OmniViz™ enables the integrated analysis of large amounts of disparate
scientific data and literature through the use of a variety of visual formats
and query tools. It is a computer-based system developed to meet the challenges
posed by advances in life and chemical science research. It analyzes multiple
complex data sets, freely mixing both numeric and text data, and displays
the results in a variety of visual formats. Relationships and patterns are
discerned without prior definition, allowing the data to "speak for itself."
OmniViz™ represents an innovative breakthrough in retrieving and analyzing
information from large, disparate numerical databases and text collections,
with an unprecedented breadth of coverage, speed, and output options. Quite
simply, OmniViz™ makes scientific research easier
OmniViz, Inc., of Maynard, Massachusetts, is the Battelle subsidiary commercializing the products
resulting from this development.
Catalyst Materials for Plasma-Catalysis Engine Exhaust
Catalyst materials for a plasma-catalysis engine exhaust
treatment make it possible to convert harmful oxides of nitrogen (NOx)
in vehicle exhaust into components of clean air. When combined with a non-thermal
plasma, these PNNL-developed specialized catalyst materials enable the plasma-catalysis
technology that is perhaps the most promising option for removing NOx
in exhaust from next-generation energy-efficient vehicles. NOx
emissions contribute to the formation of acid rain and are precursors to ozone,
the major component of smog. They pose a serious environmental and health
The nation's three major automobile manufacturers have participated in
an R&D program with PNNL to develop this technology and explore its use
in actual vehicles.
Decision Support for Operations
and Maintenance™ (DSOM)—;
The cost of operations and maintenance can make or break
a business–especially with rising capital equipment and energy costs.
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have attacked
this problem by developing a suite of analysis procedures, software and hardware
that has proven to reduce life-cycle operations and maintenance (O&M) cost
by as much as 25 to 50 percent. The product is called DSOMTM, short
for Decision Support for Operations and MaintenanceTM. Dramatic
savings are achievable because DSOM 1) improves process efficiency, 2) cuts
maintenance costs, 3) extends equipment life, and 4) reduces energy consumption
and associated harmful emissions.
Based on the concept of condition-based management, DSOM focuses on finding
the balance between high-production rates, machine stress, and failure.
DSOM allows online condition monitoring of equipment and provides early
warning signs of degraded performance. DSOM's diagnostic capabilities empower
the operations staff to become the first line of maintenance. Moreover a
customized, integrated database, and intuitive access system provides the
information staff need to make informed decisions necessary to for optimum
This is how it works. An initial assessment of a facility's physical condition,
performance levels and the organization's O&M infrastructure provides baseline
data that is used to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities.
Some problems can be addressed easily with the DSOM software. Others may
require recommended changes in organization and infrastructure. PNNL then
creates a customized database and interface matrix that is tailored to the
specific needs of each user group. Through this holistic approach, DSOM
links the entire plant in an enterprise-wide system that makes it possible
to achieve the highest level of effectiveness and the greatest economic
Long-Range Semi-Passive Radio
Frequency Identification System—;
The long-range semi-passive radio frequency identification
(RFID) system was developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and commercialized
and marketed by the newly formed Wave ID company. These unique semi-passive
RF tags can identify, locate, and even determine the condition of any item
to which it is attached. In an inventory application, this system significantly
reduces the time to count, locate, monitor, and control distribution of resources
ranging from commercial commodities (such as clothing, blood plasma, and perishable
foods) to military equipment and personnel in the field. Inventories of items
in large warehouses or stores can be completed in minutes instead of days,
and the location of specific items can be found within the warehouse in a
The MilliWave Viscometer is a high-temperature viscosity
measurement technology for process monitoring of hot molten materials such
as in glass manufacture and metals refining. Viscosity is a measure of how
well a liquid flows within stationary boundaries such as a pipe or pour spout,
in response to a given force. It is a key parameter of molten materials that
can indicate the chemistry and quality of a glass or metal product. The MilliWave
Viscometer fills a need for a high-temperature on-line viscosity sensor that
makes possible real-time process control in the manufacture of glass, metals,
and other melter-produced materials.
It is the only viscosity measurement technology that uses millimeter-wave
electromagnetic radiation to probe the movement of liquids. The viscometer
makes use of a hollow ceramic waveguide that can withstand the hot and chemical
environment inside a melter. One end of the waveguide is immersed in the
molten material, and the other end is sealed outside the melter with a window.
The waveguide guides a coherent millimeter-wave probe signal to the molten
fluid and the reflection back to the receiver electronics. It also is pressurized
to induce a fluid flow in the waveguide. The motion of the fluid-reflecting
surface in the waveguide is determined from the changes in the coherent
interference between the probe and reflected signals. The viscosity is determined
from the rate of fluid flow in response to a waveguide pressure change.
Multi-Blade Knife Failure Detector (KFD) for Food
The KFD is a wireless acoustic emission system for food
processing lines that immediately identifies knife failures. It was developed
by engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Lamb-Weston
Technical Research Center to ensure high quality while reducing costs associated
with labor, product loss, and environmentally compliant waste disposal.
Blade failure in advanced cutting mechanisms causes irregular cuts, generating
truckloads of strips that the plant must frequently pay to have removed
for animal feed. Organic nitrogen in the remaining slush adds to the plant's
Human inspectors can't catch knife breaks quickly; typically an hour's
worth or more of product was affected before a break was spotted. Available
technologies did not solve the problem. The wet environment made direct
wiring to the sensor undesirable, and plant noise overwhelmed the snap of
a blade break. The Knife Failure Detector (KFD) overcomes those problems
and instantly detects part failure and triggers redirection of product flow.
The entire process of detection, alarm, and knife replacement now takes
less than a second. The low incidence of irregular cuts and false-calls
further demonstrates the effectiveness of the system. Several food processing
plants have installed the KFD, significantly reducing annual cutting losses.
The technology has applications beyond food processing, such as for detecting
leaks in piping and containment vessels, and in other industrial equipment
operations where access prevents the use of cabling, including the monitoring
of rotating machinery for failure, misalignments, loose parts, and process
The revolutionary Sunna Dosimeter™ will help decrease
the incidence of foodborne illnesses such as E. coli by assuring the
quality and safety of the food products before they reach the public. The
Sunna Dosimeter™ is a significant breakthrough in dosimetry technologies
because it is low cost, versatile, and extremely precise. These qualities
make the dosimeter an ideal quality assurance tool not only for the food irradiation
industry but for other industries requiring accurate measurement—;in a
variety of difficult environments—;of radiation levels used in their processes.
This includes medical equipment sterilization, medical imaging, agriculture,
telecommunications, and the radiation processing industry (e.g., curing of
environmentally friendly inks and paints that require no solvents.)
The Sunna Dosimeter™ uses light instead of heat to read the amount
of radiation measured by a dosimeter. It is a composite made of lithium
fluoride and a plastic that is transparent to the photon emission of the
dosimeter material. The dosimeter traps and stores energy from exposure
to ionizing radiation fields. The amount of exposure can be determined by
shining a blue light on the dosimeter and measuring the intensity of the
green or red light emitted. This allows instantaneous, repeatable reading.
The readout is performed using a fluorimeter that quantifies the fluorescence
signal emitted from the dosimeter.
The Sunna Dosimeter™ measures radiation dose over a dynamic range
greater than three decades (<0.1 to 100 kGy). It provides quick, accurate,
simple, and cost-effective dose readings; is water and humidity-resistant;
and has a multiyear shelf life. The product is based on scientific discoveries
made during research into the Cooled Optically Stimulated Luminescence (COSL)
technology, which won an R&D 100 Award in 1992. COSL measures radiation
in dosimeters and other thermoluminescent materials using light at or below
room temperature. Dosimeters can be re-read, and a variety of packaging
Following their success with the COSL for personnel dosimetry, the researchers
began looking into other uses for the technology, including medical equipment
sterilization and food irradiation. They formed a new company, Sunna Systems
Corporation, to market the new technology. Sunna Systems Corporation has
an exclusive, worldwide license from Battelle Memorial Institute to commercialize
the OSL technology in high dose and other fields of use.
Ultra Barrier Coatings for Flat Panel Displays—;
From televisions to laptop computers, cell phones to digital
watches, today's electronic displays are manufactured on glass. As industry
strives to improve existing display technologies and develop a new generation
of displays, manufacturers are exploring the use of plastic. Plastic offers
increased ruggedness and flexibility and reduced thickness and weight. The
fact that oxygen and water vapor can pass through plastic, however, has been
a major roadblock in its use. Two ultra barrier coating products developed
at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Flexible Glass™ engineered
substrates and the Barix™ coating, offer extremely high levels of barrier
protection that can remove this obstacle and play significant roles in the
display industry. For more information, see the flat panel display article
in the spring 2000 issue of Breakthroughs
Centrate Ammonia Recovery Process—;
Centrate Ammonia Recovery (CAR) is a reversible chemisorption
process that controls the spread of ammonia (and subsequently nitrates) to
waterways and drinking water. Incorporating a newly designed adsorption resin
and regeneration solution, the CAR process extracts ammonia out of sewage
treatment liquid (centrate) and livestock waste and converts it into standard,
commercial-grade, ammonium sulfate fertilizer, a dry, odorless product.
Facilities such as sewage treatment plants and feedlots can use the CAR
technology to help avoid fines and potential shutdowns resulting from existing
and proposed regulations. Until the CAR technology, no other process cost
effectively removed ammonia from water at low concentrations. At lower costs
per gallon treated than other ammonia removal methods (air and water stripping
and biological nitrogen removal), the CAR process recovers more ammonia,
requires less space, and adds no chemicals to the discharge effluent. And,
the ammonia removed is converted to a marketable commodity—;standard,
dry, ammonium sulfate fertilizer.
The technology evolved from laboratory-scale ammonia recovery developments
by Battelle and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who collaborated
with ThermoEnergy Corporation and Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation
to demonstrate a pilot-scale process on a wastewater effluent at the Oakwood
Beach Water Pollution Control Plant, Staten Island, New York. The technology
consistently removed greater than 90% of the ammonia before the effluent
was discharged and converted that ammonia to ammonium sulfate crystals.
Compact Microchannel Fuel Vaporizer—;
The Compact Microchannel Fuel Vaporizer contains integrated
microcombustors and micro-channel heat exchangers. The unit catalytically
oxidizes waste hydrogen from a fuel cell, providing energy necessary to vaporize
liquid hydrocarbon fuel used by a fuel processing system. The technology enables
manufacture of compact fuel processor units for portable applications. Until
now, existing fuel processing technology could not be scaled down to a small
enough size for auto-motive applications—;the fuel vaporization component
was one of the roadblocks to downsizing. The CMFV removes this roadblock and
brings the fuel cell-powered automobile a significant step closer to reality.
This new and innovative fuel processing technology is small, efficient,
modular, lightweight, and potentially inexpensive, making it ideal for automotive
or portable applications. The CMFV is the size of a soda pop can and weighs
4 lb. A unit this size can vaporize 260 mL/min of gasoline, enough to feed
a fuel processor that can support a 50-kW fuel cell. The CMFV's size and
weight are dramatically reduced compared with conventional heat exchangers,
which when operating at this capacity are more than an order of magnitude
Electrodynamic Ion Funnel—;
The Electrodynamic Ion Funnel focuses ions in gases, greatly
improving the sensitivity of analytical devices such as mass spectrometers
that depend on ion formation and transfer in the presence of gases. The funnel
uses a series of ring electrodes of increasingly smaller internal diameters
to which radio frequency (RF) and direct current (DC) electric potentials
are co-applied. The combination of collisions with neutral gas and the combined
RF and DC electric fields cause the ions to be more effectively focused and
transmitted (i.e., as a tightly focused ion beam), significantly enhancing
the sensitivity of the mass spectrometer. Applying the RF electric fields
to the ring electrodes creates an effective repulsive field near the surface
of the ion funnel that prevents ions from penetrating or being lost to the
walls of the funnel. The co-applied DC electric field serves to push ions
"down the throat" of the Electrodynamic Ion Funnel. The combination of electric
fields results in highly efficient focusing.
Now, for the first time, using the Electrodynamic Ion Funnel, large currents
of ions can be focused in gases, allowing close to 100% ion efficiency in
the transmission of ions to the mass analyzer. This results in an enormous
gain in the sensitivity of the analyzer. Forty- to eighty-fold gains in
sensitivity for ESI are routinely relived for conventional mass spectrometers
retro-fitted with an Electrodynamic Ion Funnel. See the news release.
The MicroHeater is a microscale combustion system (the
palm-size combustion unit weighs less than 0.2 kg [5 oz]) that can provide
heat for portable personal heating/cooling devices, indoor heating devices
such as baseboard heaters, in-line water heaters, and fuel cell systems. The
MicroHeater can produce 30 W of thermal energy per square centimeter of external
combustor area. One module can power a personal, portable heater for 8 hours
on little fuel or provide instantaneous in-line water heating; an array of
modules will heat a house efficiently and reduce ducting and zoning thermal
energy losses by 45%.
This technology is the first application of enhanced microscale heat and
energy mass-transfer to a combustion process. MicroHeater's thin, stacked
metal sheets form tiny channels through which hot water passes, heating
the entire unit. The stacked sheets provide a large surface area in a very
small space, and the microchannels minimize the amount of circulating water—;and
thus, the amount of fuel—;needed to operate the MicroHeater. The design
ensures MicroHeater has high combustion efficiency and low emissions. Innovative
fabrication techniques resolve technical problems related to mass-producing
small units with microchannel elements, and permit cost-effective microchannel
manufacture. It is the first device of its kind, and offers unique and much-needed
opportunities for miniaturizing heating and heat pump-based devices.
Molecular Sciences Software Suite (MS3)—;
The Molecular Science Software Suite (MS3) is
a unique, comprehensive, integrated suite of software that enables computational
chemists to focus their advanced techniques on finding solutions to complex
issues involving chemical systems. It is the first general-purpose software
that provides access to high-performance, massively parallel computers for
a broad range of chemists on a broad range of applications. MS3
lets chemists easily couple the power of advanced computational chemistry
techniques with existing and rapidly evolving high-performance, massively
parallel computing systems. A multidisciplinary team of scientists and computer
experts at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Environmental Molecular
Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) developed MS3.
By providing access to high-performance, massively parallel computers for
a broad range of applications, MS3 can be used to address environmental
problems. It can also be applied to the computational "Grand Challenge"
problems in computational chemistry as addressed by the chemical industry's
Vision 2020 subcommittee on computational chemistry. In addition, it will
provide unique insights into the molecular-level understanding of our world.
Note: MS3 also received an FLC
award. Contact Dave Dixon for more information.
PUMA Fiber Optic Neutron and Gamma Ray Sensor—;
PUMA is a revolutionary radiation monitoring system that
uses glass fibers to detect the presence of radionuclides such as plutonium.
This flexible, lightweight, low-power detection system can be used to monitor
an inventory of nuclear materials and has significant potential in countering
the threat of nuclear terrorism and contributing to international nonproliferation
The innovative use of glass fibers is a breakthrough in the field of radiation
detectors. Glass fibers offer substantial flexibility over conventional
neutron sensor technologies, most of which use rigid helium-filled tubes.
PUMA's glass fibers contain lithium-6 atoms and cerium ions that detect
the presence of radionuclides such as plutonium. The neutrons react with
the lithium isotope to leave an ionization trail through the glass matrix,
which results in light emission from the cerium. The fiber is coated with
a low refractive index silicone polymer, which maximizes the amount of light
captured in the glass fiber. The trapped light travels down the fiber and
is detected at the ends using photomultiplier tubes. Each fiber can detect
from one to millions of neutrons and gamma rays per second. The researchers
have developed glass compositions specifically for fiber drawing and manufacturing
processes that enable fiber to be produced in useful lengths of more than
200 cm (2 meters).
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1999.
In Situ Redox Manipulation (ISRM)—;
This groundwater remediation technique safely, permanently
and cost-effectively destroys or immobilizes toxic and carcinogenic contaminants
within an aquifer. ISRM involves injecting a non-toxic chemical solution into
the aquifer through a groundwater well, effectively creating an in situ treatment
zone within the contaminant plume. The treatment destroys or immobilizes chemically
reducible metallic and organic contaminants under natural flow conditions.
Battelle and Schlumberger Ltd. are teaming to market and develop the technology.
Also see the news release.
For products, processes, and services, this software package
characterizes the lifetime energy and environmental implications, including
consideration of raw material extraction, processing, transportation, end-use,
waste management and recycling impacts. It helps product designers, process
engineers and policymakers with emerging environmental challenges, such as
designing recyclable products, selecting environmentally friendly raw materials,
developing zero-waste technologies, formulating competitive environmental
business strategies and developing environmental policies. Battelle sponsored
Radionuclide Aerosol Sampler/Analyzer (RASA)—;
Originally designed to give the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty eyes
and ears, the Radionuclide Aerosol Sampler/Analyzer (RASA) is a completely
automated radionuclide monitoring system that detects airborne radioactive
particles. The device can measure debris from nuclear weapons testing, no
matter where or when a nuclear weapon was detonated. RASA merges a fully automated
mechanical system that traps airborne particulate on filters and moves the
filter past a gamma-ray detector with an operating system that continually
verifies its operations and communicates data about the particulate to a central
data center. RASA's detection component can be tailored to meet a wide variety
of monitoring needs—;nuclear as well as non-nuclear. Users could range
from environmental quality groups to manufacturing plant managers who must
monitor and document plant emissions. Pacific Northwest has a license agreement
pending with DME Corporation of Orlando, Fla., who manufactures RASA units.
Biological samples naturally contain high concentrations
of salts and other compounds, which can create problems during analysis. The
Rapid Microdialyzer quickly—;in four minutes or less—;removes the
salts and cleanses biological and other liquid mixture samples, including
microsamples that otherwise might not be usable. The Rapid Microdialyzer is
expected to expand significantly medical, clinical and analytical applications
of mass spectrometry. Several companies are seeking to license the Rapid Microdialyzer
for commercial production. Contact Bruce Harrer for more information.
Self-Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports
SAMMS is a new class of materials that can remove metals
and radionuclides from aqueous and organic liquids and gaseous streams. SAMMS
integrates mesoporous ceramics technology first created by Mobil Oil Corporation
with an innovative method for attaching "monolayers"—;single layers of
densely packed molecules—;to the pore surfaces throughout the tiny grains
of ceramic material. The molecules are custom designed to seek out mercury,
lead, chromium and other metals. Available in powder or bead forms, SAMMS
has potential applications in soil and water cleanup at sites where mercury
contamination is prevalent, as well as industrial waste water treatment and
metal recovery. Contact Nick Lombardo for more information.
Cleaning Systems—;John L. Fulton, Max
R. Phelps, Richard D. Smith (joint entry with Joseph M. DeSimone, James McClain,
Timothy Romack, Gina Stewart of MiCELL Technologies)
This industrial cleaning process uses special detergents
created from polymer-based formulations to increase significantly the scrubbing
power of liquid carbon dioxide. Used to clean garments or metal parts, the
system provides industry and consumers a recyclable, environmentally safe,
yet equally effective alternative to ozone-depleting or hazardous cleaning
compounds. Through an agreement with Battelle, MiCELL Technologies is commercializing
the system. Contact Nick Lombardo
for more information.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1999.
R-TiC Metals Emission Monitor—;David A. Lamar (joint entry with Paul P. Woskov, Paul Thomas, and Kamal Hadidi
of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
The R-TiC Metals Emission Monitor provides continuous monitoring
of hazardous metal emissions from incinerators, plasma furnaces and thermal
processes used in manufacturing and fossil fuel electric power plants. The
monitor utilizes a microwave plasma sustained by a source for atomic-emission-spectroscopy,
and can be installed directly on an emissions stack. The monitor is accurate,
sensitive and provides information rapidly. It can be used to monitor compliance
with environmental regulations and identify problems in thermal processes
that could result in metals air pollution.
RubberCycle™—;A Bioprocess for Waste
Tire Recycling—;Harley D. Freeman, Gary G.
Neuenschwander, Robert A. Romine, Margaret F. Romine, Lesley J. Snowden-Swan
The RubberCycle™ technology is a technically sound,
cost-effective method for solving the waste tire disposal problem and cleaning
up a major environmental hazard while reducing costs to businesses and consumer.
The RubberCycle™ technology is based on a bioprocess that uses thiophillic,
or sulfur-loving, microorganisms that create chemically reactive sites on
the surface of finely ground tire rubber particles derived from waste tires.
This mixed recycled and virgin vulcanized rubber exhibits better performance
than all-virgin rubber. The RubberCycle™ system can be integrated with
existing recycling operations. It doesn't require hazardous chemicals and
has no significant waste effluent. It uses standard bioprocessing equipment
that is low cost and low maintenance. Rouse Rubber Industries, Inc., is a
joint winner with Pacific Northwest.
Production of Chemicals from Biologically Derived
Succinic Acid (BDSA)—;Sarah D. Burton,
John G. Frye, Yong Wang, Todd Werpy (joint entry with Brian H. Davison, Nhuan
P. Nghiem, and Bruce E. Suttle of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Mark Donnelly,
Cynthia S. Millard, Shih-Perng Tsai, May Wu of Argonne National Laboratory,
Ron Landucci of National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
The Production of Chemicals from Biologically Derived Succinic
Acid (BDSA) process converts corn into a cost-efficient, environmentally friendly
source of the chemicals used to make polymers, clothing fibers, paints, inks,
food additives, automobile bumpers, and an array of other industrial and consumer
products. The process produces succinic acid by fermenting glucose sugar from
corn. After separation and purification, the succinic acid is used as a chemical
intermediate that is converted into chemical feedstocks used to make a wide
assortment of products. Currently, more than 90% of the basic feedstocks used
to make these products originate from crude oil and natural gas, and the BDSA
process will compete with these production routes by providing a lower-cost
means of obtaining commodity chemicals from renewable resources.
Refractory Corrosion Monitor—;David
A. Lamar (joint entry with Paul P. Woskov of the Massachusetts Institute of
The Refractory Corrosion Monitor uses frequency-tunable
microwave radiation transmitted into the furnace insulation from outside the
furnace to provide accurate real-time monitoring of refractory insulation
thickness while a furnace is in operation. High-temperature furnaces are used
to manufacture materials such as glass and steel, in waste remediation, and
for power production. A key feature of these furnaces is the refractory insulation
that contains the high-temperature region inside a furnace. This refractory
is subject to harsh conditions that cause its deterioration and impact the
furnace's lifetime. The ability to monitor the refractory condition during
furnace operation will improve the productivity and lifetime of furnace components
and minimize downtime for refractory inspections.
Plasma Source Quistor (PSQ ) Mass Spectrometer—;Charles
J. Barinaga, Gregory C. Eiden, David W. Koppenaal (joint entry with Charles
B. Douthitt of Finnigan Corp)
PSQ is a unique mass spectrometer for elemental and isotopic
analysis. The PSQ offers an attractive alternative to conventional atomic
mass spectrometry at a lower cost, smaller size, and with unmatched analytical
features and performance. Its innovative technology enables scientists to
select, capture, and chemically manipulate atomic ions for superior detection
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1996.
Liquid Multilayer/Polymer Multilayer Processes for
Vacuum Deposition of Polymer Films—;John
D. Affinito, Mark E. Gross (joint entry with Terje Skotheim, Moltech Corporation)
These processes enable vacuum deposition of smooth, continuous
polymer layers on flexible surfaces. The layers can be as thin as 100 Angstroms
or as thick as a few hundred microns. Commercialization of the LML/PML processes
means easier manufacture and higher quality for many products, including high-energy-density,
lightweight, rechargeable lithium polymer batteries used in electronic devices
such as cellular phones and laptop computers. Moltech Corporation, manufacturer
of the batteries, is a joint winner with Pacific Northwest.
SPIRE: Spatial Paradigm for Information Retrieval
and Exploration Software—;Kevin J. Adams,
Shawn J. Bohn, Vernon L. Crow, David B. Lantrip, Kelly Pennock, Marc C. Pottier,
Anne Schur, James J. Thomas, James A. Wise, Jeremy York
SPIRE fundamentally transforms the tasks and processes
of information retrieval and analysis. In an era of rapidly expanding access
to information, SPIRE provides a suite of information access, analysis, and
visualization tools that enable the user to visually analyze the information
needed to make decisions and solve problems. SPIRE accepts large volumes of
text in almost any format, determines the relationships within the text, and
presents these relationships in a visual format. This approach allows users
to rapidly discover known and hidden information relationships, and then read
only the pertinent documents rather than wading through large volumes of text.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1998.
Catalyzed Electrochemical Oxidation (CEO)—;Mark
F. Buehler, Wesley E. Lawrence, Jeffrey E. Surma ( joint entry with Norville
Nelson, EOSystems, Inc.)
CEO is a low-temperature, ambient-pressure process that
can replace incineration as a hazardous waste treatment. It is 25%-50%
cheaper than incineration and safer, because aqueous components are not vaporized.
Using the oxidation power of cerium, CEO can destroy hazardous pesticides,
chemical weapons, solvents, laboratory, mixed organic and biological wastes.
With its flow-through ultrasonic mixer, it can dispose of immiscible liquids
like petroleum wastes. The CEO process is easily scalable, and the equipment
is highly portable, making it a good choice for universities and small private
labs, shipboard wastes, as well as large manufacturing facilities. CEO earned
an FLC Award in
Autonomous Environmental Sentinel (AES)—;John
Downing (joint entry with Brad DeRoos and Patt Hoffman of Battelle Columbus
AES is a multi sensor probe that collects data in aquatic
environments at depths up to 300m. The system takes water samples on a time-series
or event-triggered mode, and is controlled by an on-board microprocessor.
The AES is the only multi parameter probe that measures gamma radiation. It
can monitor water systems near sewage treatment plants, hazardous waste sites,
as well as characterize coastal environments before military operations and
gather research data. If it detects undesired chemicals or radioactivity,
it broadcasts a warning. After surfacing, information can be downloaded by
satellite telemetry, spread-spectrum RF transmission, or manual recovery and
download. This probe is a joint entry with Battelle Memorial Institute and
Electrical Remediation at Contaminated Environments
(ERACE)—;Theresa M. Bergsman, Phillip
A. Gauglitz, William O. Heath, Michael C. Miller, Janet S. Roberts
ERACE uses electrodes in situ to heat natural moisture
in the soil. The steam which is produced removes contaminants from the soil.
This technique does not require excavation or soil pretreatment. Soils that
would otherwise require years to clean using simple venting methods can be
cleaned in weeks with this technology.
Real Time Ultrasonic Imaging System (RTUIS)—;Byron
B. Brenden Larry L. Kopf, Gerald P. Morgen
This ultrasonic camera can be used to detect, image, measure
and evaluate flaws in composite materials. It currently is used to verify
the integrity of components in high-performance aircraft. Material inspections
can be done up to 10 times faster than other methods. The new technology likely
will lead to lower aircraft production costs and increased safety for users.
Pacific Northwest's Byron Brenden developed the technology with André
Durruty of Dassault Aviation, a French Company.
Microwave Plasma Continuous Emissions Monitor—;Jeffrey
E. Surma (joint entry with Paul Woskov, David Rhee, Dan Cohn of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Charles Titus of T&R Associates in Wayne, Pennsylvania)
This device monitors potentially hazardous emissions from
incinerators and other waste treatment systems. It can identify heavy metals
and other contaminants at the part-per-billion level on a continuous basis.
It is extremely sensitive, yet tough enough to withstand adverse conditions
found in high temperature systems.
Ultrasonic Microstructural Analyzer—;Morris
S. Good, James R. Skorpik, George J. Schuster (joint entry with Saginaw Division,
General Motors Corporation - Dennis D. Rogers)
The Ultrasonic Microstructural Analyzer (UMA) uses high
frequency ultrasound to nondestructively analyze the subsurface microstructure
of a component to measure hardness depth of heat-treated steel components
or particle distribution uniformity of metal matrix composites.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1995.
High-Energy Corona (HEC) Reactor (Gas-Phase Corona
Reactor for Destruction of Organics in Gas Streams)—;Steve
Goheen, Bill Heath, Dick Richardson, Jud Virden
The HEC reactor is a simple, inexpensive, energy-efficient
technology that destroys hazardous organic contaminants in waste streams (such
as chlorinated or other hazardous organics in air) and converts them to non-toxic
compounds such as carbon dioxide and water. The HEC reactor can reduce the
amount of hazardous organic materials released by chemical and manufacturing
plants, research laboratories, and hospitals. Researchers are now trying to
design an HEC reactor that can reduce hazardous materials emitted in automobile
Ultrafine Powder Formation by Continuous Hydrothermal
Synthesis (Rapid Thermal Decomposition of Precursors in Solutions Process)—;
Roger Bean, John Fulton, John Linehan, Mark Buehler, Gary Neuenschwander,
Max Phelps, Dean Matson
The Rapid Thermal Decomposition of Precursors in Solutions
(RTDS) process uses high pressure (3000 to 8000 psi) and high temperature
(100 to 400°C) to transform a solution of low-cost metal salts into tiny,
uniform particles for materials manufacturing and catalytic applications.
The process can produce one to five pounds of powder per day at bench scale.
The ultrafine powders created by the process can be pressurized and heat-treated
to produce materials used to manufacture ceramic ball bearings, gears, and
knife blades that are stronger and more durable than existing products.
The powders also can be used as paint and ink pigments, paints, and surface-area
catalysts. When combined with other materials, the powders can be used to
make magnetic tape. Someday the process also may be used to treat hazardous
waste, nitrates and organics.
Base-Catalyzed Destruction Process—;Michael
D. Brown, Andrew J. Schmidt, Harley D. Freeman (Pacific Northwest) (joint
entry with Battelle Memorial Institute)—;Robert F. Olfenbuttel, B.C. Kim,
Ted Tewksbury; Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory: Dih Bin Chan; U.S. EPA-Risk
Reduction Engineering Laboratory: Charles Rogers, Alfred Kornel, Harold Sparks)
The process was co-developed with the Environmental Protection
Agency and has the potential to treat millions of tons of contaminated while
meeting strict environmental regulations. An inexpensive base is used in a
chemical dehalogenation process that can detoxify polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs), dioxins, pesticides, and other hazardous organic materials in soils
or other substrates without creating additional contaminants or arousing public
antipathy. When PCB-contaminated soils are treated by this process, chlorine
and other halogen molecules are replaced by hydrogen, producing small amounts
of sodium chloride and nonhazardous biphenyl. Ultimately, PCBs are detoxified
at significantly less cost and with much greater public acceptance than incineration.
Cooled, Optically Stimulated Luminescence (COSL)
(Passive, Highly Sensitive Radiation Detectors)—;Steven
D. Miller, Joseph C. McDonald, Fred N. Eichner
This technology uses light at or below room temperature
to obtain radiation dose information. Previously, such measurements could
be obtained only at high temperatures. The optical luminescence technology
represents a significant advance in dosimetry because it is rapid, efficient,
less costly, more sensitive and accurate than other dosimetry technologies.
The technology is being developed to better protect workers in offices, hospitals,
factories, and at nuclear waste sites.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1995.
Glycine-Nitrate Process for Producing Ultrafine Metal
Oxide Powders—;Larry A. Chick, Research
Team: Larry R. Pederson, Gary D. Maupin, Gregory J. Exarhos, J. Lambert Bates
The GNP technology produces very fine particles of multi-component
ceramic oxides that are of uniform size and chemical composition. These very
pure particles can be used to produce solid oxide fuel cells, ceramic engine
parts, and many other sophisticated products.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1995.
Planar Waveguide Spectrometer(joint
entry with University of Washington)—;Norman
C. Anheier, Don S. Goldman, Patricia L. White, Lloyd W. Burgess (UW), Michael
This spectrometer is an integrated optical device that
Quantitative Luminescence Imaging System (QLIS) (joint
entry with USAF)—;Charles R. Batishko
and Kurt A. Stahl with Pacific Northwest; David N. Erwin, Johnathan L. Kiel
with the U.S. Air Force
QLIS is an instrument and method that can be used to help
diagnose important biomedical effects such as biological cell damage caused
by chemical or physical stresses.
Electro-Optic Liquid Sensor—;John
W. Cary, Glendon W. Gee, Randy R. Kirkham, John F. McBride, Carver S. Simmons
This small, inexpensive device can be a water content meter
or a leak detector for fuel oil, gasoline, solvents, or other organic liquids
in soil, sand, cement, and other porous materials. An industrial firm has
received a nonexclusive license to use the sensor to detect oil spills and
leaks. The sensor also could be used to optimize crop irrigation.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1992.
Conversion of Fermentable Carbohydrates to Acrylate
Esters–Lactic Acid and Lower Alkyl Acrylates Production—;David
E. Eakin, Richard T. Hallen, Charles A. Rohrmann, Paul C. Walkup
This cost-efficient technology combines fermentation and
catalytic processes to produce lactic acid from blackstrap molasses, cheese
whey, and grain and potato processing residues. The lactic acid then can be
used to produce acrylates such as sealants, coatings, textiles, and biodegradable
The technology also won an FLC Award in 1990.
Petroleum Sludge Treatment Process(joint
entry with Onsite*Offsite)—;L. John Sealock,
Jr., Eddie G. Baker, Douglas C. Elliott, Gary G. Neuenschwander (Norman G.
Banns with Onsite*Offsite)
This process reduces toxic petroleum wastes by more that
85 percent and disposal costs to between 10% and 20% of the cost of
traditional methods.The process was developed to help crude oil refiners treat
thousands of ton of emulsified petroleum sludge. Between 10% and 40%
of the sludge can be recovered as oil.
Waste Acid Detoxification and Reclamation (WADR)
System—;Evan O. Jones, Terri L. Stewart,
Wayne A. Wilcox
A unique process that recovers and recycles metals and
acids from industrial waste streams. Industries can use the WADR technology
to treat metal-bearing spent acids generated during many commercial operations.
A spin-off company has been created to commercialize the technology.
The technology won an FLC
Award in 1993 and today it is a technology transfer Success
Pyroflux Glass Melting Process—;Alex
G. Fassbender, Lyle K. Mudge, Paul C. Walkup
The process shortens melting and refining times, therefore
small furnaces can be used and refining times; can be cut in half. Pyroflux
also recovers all usable heat from the exhaust gas so pollutants can easily
be removed before the exhaust is released.
E. Frazier (O. Baca, University of New Mexico; L.P. Mallavia, Washington State
The Q-Endoscreen test helps physicians and veterinarians
identify Q fever, a highly infectious disease that previously had been nearly
impossible for doctors to diagnose. This rapid, inexpensive, and effective
method detects the bacterium Coxiella burnetii and differentiates between
strains that cause the frequently fatal endocarditis and the strains that
cause acute but treatable Q fever.
Thermochemical Environmental Energy System®
(TEES)—;E. G. (Ed) Baker, R. Scott Butner,
Douglas C. Elliott, L. John Sealock, Jr., Norm Banns (Onsite*Offsite, Inc.)
Food processing byproducts, agricultural residues, and
other large amounts of wet, organic waste are clarified and treated for use
or disposal using this process. Using TEES, food processing wastes can be
converted into methane fuel that can be used to power production processes.
The system can function as a stand-alone portable unit or be integrated into
a larger plant to help industries cost-effectively meet stringent environmental
The technology also won an FLC Award in 1989.
Hydrogen Gas Recovery—;Dave
Nelson, Mike Lilga
This technique economically converts hydrogen sulfide,
a poisonous gas found in natural gas, into a usable form of hydrogen for use
in chemical production or as a burnable fuel.
Sludge-to-Oil Reactor System—;Alex
Fassbender, Pete Molton
This process converts sewage sludge and agricultural wastes to useful petroleum products.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1988.
Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Fluid Solutions—;Dean
Matson, Richard D. Smith
This process produces thin films, fibers and small particles
of uniform size for use in the paint manufacturing, pharmaceutical, electronic
and ceramic industries.
Electrospray Ionization Interface—;Harold
Udseth, Richard D. Smith
This process is used to analyze chemicals and biological
samples at previously nonmeasurable levels and provided the first effective
means of allowing mass spectral analyses of analytes separated by capillary
Computer Aided Genetic Engineering/Genetic Engineering
Machine (CAGE/GEM)—;Richard J. Douthart,
James J. Thomas
CAGE/GEM is a software toolkit that can help researchers
design genetic structures before performing expensive laboratory experiments.
By using the system, scientists can analyze sequences from both a broad and
specific viewpoint with integration of expert knowledge. They can isolate
a genetic element in DNA sequence, then graphically manipulate the element
to create and explore new genetic constructs.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1989.
Noble Metals Recovery—;Charlie
Rohrmann, Oz Wick
This process recovers noble or rare metals created in nuclear
power reactors during the fission process.
Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer—;Richard
The spectrometer helps chemists analyze many nonvolatile,
Portable Blood Irradiator—;Roy
Bunnell, Frank Hungate, Bill Riemath
Pacific Northwest began developing a fully portable blood
irradiator in the early 1970s when there were no mechanisms to treat blood
diseases and to help suppress rejection of transplanted organs or tissues.
The technology was transferred to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
in 1991. Manufacture and delivery of the irradiators and the development of
safer, more effective protocols for their use is occurring through Pacific
Northwest's first CRADA.
The technology also won an FLC
Award in 1992.
Optical Digital Recording—;James
This information and retrieval system enables information
to be stored as a track of dots about one micron in diameter. The technique
now is used by major manufacturers of compact disk technology.
In 1994, the technology was nominated for a Computerworld Smithsonian Award,
which "honors the creativity and inspiration of those who use modern information
technology to improve the course of our lives." This nomination was a finalist
in the Science category.
Void Metal Composite—;Manuel
Karagianes, Ken Sump, Ken Wheeler
This unique porous material permits the formation of a
"living union" between bone tissue and prosthetic devices.
Acoustic Emission Tester—;Don
The tester detects flaws in welds during production.
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