News & Media

Latest Stories

53 results found
Filtered by Bioenergy Technologies, Explosives Detection, and Waste-to-Energy and Products
SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
Web Feature

Not Your Average Refinery

In a new review, PNNL researchers outline how to convert stranded biomass to sustainable fuel using electrochemical reduction reactions in mini-refineries powered by renewable energy.

Wet Waste Hydrothermal Liquefaction and Biocrude Upgrading to Hydrocarbon Fuels: 2019 State of Technology

April 29, 2020
May 4, 2020


Each year, the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) assesses progress in their research and development efforts toward sustainable production of renewable fuels (DOE 2016). Technical and cost targets were previously established for the wet waste hydrothermal liquefaction and biocrude upgrading pathway and summarized in a design report (Snowden-Swan et al. 2017). The present report summarizes the research and associated techno-economic analysis (TEA) in support of the 2019 state of technology (SOT) assessment for this pathway. Data from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Conversion hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) program for wet waste was used to update the pathway techno-economic analysis (TEA) for the fiscal year 2019 State of Technology (2019 SOT). An overview of the current process model, experimental data and plant economics for the SOT is presented.

Research topics


Snowden-Swan L.J., J.M. Billing, M.R. Thorson, A.J. Schmidt, D.M. Santosa, S.B. Jones, and R.T. Hallen. 2020. Wet Waste Hydrothermal Liquefaction and Biocrude Upgrading to Hydrocarbon Fuels: 2019 State of Technology. PNNL-29882. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Top Ten Blendstocks for Turbocharged Gasoline Engines

Cover of Co-Optima Report

Bio-blendstocks with the potential to deliver the highest engine efficiency

October 8, 2019
October 8, 2019

More efficient engines enabled by better fuels could increase the fuel economy of light duty (LD) vehicles by 10 percent beyond current technology and planned developments. This report identifies top blendstocks that can be derived from biomass and are suitable for further development and commercialization. These blendstocks are best-suited for LD gasoline, boosted spark ignition (BSI) engines. The blendstocks were identified using a fuel property basis using the BSI merit function. The merit function determines potential improvements in engine efficiency, was used to evaluate the performance of candidate bioblendstocks in blends up to 30%. Those that exceeded the efficiency of an E10 premium were included in this list. This report is aimed at biofuel researchers looking to better understand the efficiency implications of biofuels under development, as well as engine researchers who are interested in future biofuels with properties that enable more efficient engine design and operation.

The Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) team includes experts from nine national laboratories: Argonne, Idaho, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The team’s expertise includes biofuel development, fuel property testing and characterization, combustion fundamentals, modeling and simulation from atomic scale to engine scale, and analysis.

Gaspar, Daniel J., West, Brian H., Ruddy, Danial, Wilke, Trenton J., Polikarpov, Evgueni, Alleman, Teresa L., George, Anthe, Monroe, Eric, Davis, Ryan W., Vardon, Derek, Sutton, Andrew D., Moore, Cameron M., Benavides, Pahola T., Dunn, Jennifer, Biddy, Mary J., Jones, Susanne B., Kass, Michael D., Pihl, Josh A., Pihl, Josh A., Debusk, Melanie M., Sjoberg, Magnus, Szybist, Jim, Sluder, C S., Fioroni, Gina, and Pitz, William J. Top Ten Blendstocks Derived From Biomass For Turbocharged Spark Ignition Engines: Bio-blendstocks With Potential for Highest Engine Efficiency. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1567705.

AUGUST 27, 2019
News Release

Smelling is Believing

Vapor detection technology developed at PNNL can quickly and accurately identify explosives, deadly chemicals, and illicit drugs.