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Three PNL technologies named to top 100 list

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September 25, 1995 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — What do new technologies for soil cleaning, ultrasonic imaging and emissions monitoring have in common? They all have made R&D Magazine's list of the top 100 technological developments of 1994 and they all were developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

The prestigious R&D 100 Awards, sometimes called the Pulitzer Prizes of technology, honor 100 of the most promising new products, processes, materials and software developed worldwide. Awards are based on a development's technical significance, uniqueness and usefulness. PNL staff have received 29 R&D 100 Awards since 1965.

This year's awards recognize:


  • Electrical Remediation at Contaminated Environments. This quick and inexpensive technique 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. The developers are Theresa Bergsman, Philip Gauglitz, William Heath and Janet Roberts.
  • Real Time Ultrasonic Imaging System. 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. PNL's Byron Brenden developed the technology with André Durruty of Dassault Aviation, a French Company.
  • Microwave Plasma Continuous Emissions Monitor. 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. The technology was invented by PNL researcher Jeff Surma, along with Paul Woskov, David Rhee and Dan Cohn of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Charles Titus of T&R Associates in Wayne, Pa.


Inventors of all three technologies were honored at a ceremony in Chicago on Sept. 19 by R&D Magazine. This is the 32nd annual R&D 100 Award competition.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Emissions

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