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Pacific Northwest earns four R&D 100 awards

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October 18, 1996 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Take heaping tablespoons of science, throw in teams of researchers, add a state-of-the-art laboratory, whip with creativity and voila. The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory finds a winning recipe which garnered four R&D 100 awards in 1996.

R&D Magazine annually offers up their top 100 list of technological developments based upon uniqueness, usefulness and technical significance. These R&D 100 Awards call out the most promising new products, processes, materials and software developed worldwide. Since the awards' inception in 1963, Pacific Northwest has won 33 awards.

This year's winning entries and their inventors are:


  • Catalyzed Electrochemical Oxidation. This process uses electricity to fully destroy a wide variety of hazardous wastes, breaking them into inert materials such as carbon dioxide and water. CEO is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than incineration methods of destroying organic waste. Hazardous waste produced by hospitals, research laboratories, chemical and pharmaceutical producers, and electronics manufacturers can be destroyed safely by this process. Jeff Surma, Wesley E. Lawrence, Mark F. Buehler, Norvell Nelson.
  • Spatial Paradigm for Information Retrieval and Exploration. This software package transforms the tasks and processes of information retrieval and analysis through visualization. It provides a suite of information access, analysis and visualization tools so the user sees the information needed to make decisions and solve problems. SPIRE takes text in almost any format, determines the relationships within the text and presents these relationships in a visual format. Users rapidly discover known and hidden information relationships and read only the pertinent documents rather than wade through large volumes of text. James J. Thomas, James A. Wise, Kelly Pennock, Marc C. Pottier, Anne Schur, Vernon L. Crow, David B. Lantrip, Shawn J. Bohn, Kevin J. Adams, Jeremy York, D. Bruce Rex.
  • Liquid Multilayer/Polymer Multilayer Processes for Vacuum Deposition of Polymer Films. These processes enable vacuum deposition of smooth, continuous polymer layers on flexible surfaces. The layers can be extremely thin. Commercialization of LML/PML will result in easier manufacturing and higher quality for products such as lightweight and rechargeable lithium polymer batteries used in cellular phones, laptop computers and other electronics. John Affinito, Mark E. Gross, Terje Skotheim.
  • Plasma Source Quistor (PSQ) Plasma Source Spectrometer. This unique mass spectrometer analyzes elements and isotopes. It offers an attractive alternative to conventional atom mass spectrometry with unmatched analytical features and performance. PSQ also provides smaller sizes and reduced costs. Scientists can select, capture and chemically manipulate atomic ions for superior detection and analysis. David W. Koppenaal, Charles J. Barinaga, Gregory C. Eiden, PNNL; Charles B. Douthitt, Finnigan Corporation.


A panel of R&D Magazine editors and outside experts judged the technology entries. Several previous winners later became household names such as the flashcube (1965), automated teller machine (1973), halogen lamp (1974), fax machine (1975), the touch-sensitive screen (1986), color graphics printer (1986) and Nicoderm anti-smoking patch (1992).

Tags: Energy, Fundamental Science, Batteries, Mass Spectrometry and Separations

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