DOE-Funded Research Projects Win 41 R&D 100 Awards for 2006

WASHINGTON , DC – Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today congratulated researchers at 12 DOE national laboratories who won 41 of the 100 awards given by R&D Magazine. The awards are presented annually in recognition of the most outstanding technology developments with commercial potential. R&D Magazine will make the awards tonight at its 44th annual R&D 100 Awards ceremony in Chicago. Sixteen of the DOE- funded awards are shared with businesses and universities.

“DOE’s research labs across the country are making discoveries every day that enhance our nation’s energy, economic and national security,” Secretary Bodman said. “I congratulate the researchers who have won this prestigious award and thank them for maintaining our country’s competitive edge in science and technology.”

The R&D 100 Awards recognize the most promising new products, materials or software developed throughout the world and introduced to the market the previous year. Awards are based on each achievement’s technical significance, uniqueness and usefulness compared to competing projects and technologies. The award-winning technologies and products were selected by the editors of R&D Magazine and a panel of outside experts. Widely recognized in the industry, government and academia as a mark of excellence for the most innovative ideas of the year, the R&D 100 Awards are the only industry-wide competition rewarding practical applications of science.

Since the R&D Magazine annual competition began in 1962, DOE-funded researchers have won 739 R&D 100s. Information about them is available here.

The complete list of 2006 R&D 100 Awards appears in the September 2006 issue of R&D Magazine (at The winners will be recognized at R&D Magazine’s 44th annual awards banquet to be held tonight in Chicago, where the magazine is based.

A list of the winning technologies and the DOE national laboratories associated with each award follows. Links to the laboratories’ news releases about their 2006 R&D 100 Awards are provided.

Department of Energy-Funded 2006 R&D Award Winners
Ames Laboratory (Ames, Iowa)

  • A software tool that helps engineers quickly solve problems and make decisions by converting large 3-D data sets into pictures for analysis. (Jointly with Iowa State University.)

Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne, Ill.)

  • The world's fastest commercially producible hydrogen sensor, which can be used in hydrogen-powered cars to detect unsafe levels of hydrogen.
  • Anti-scatter grids for X-ray imaging and collimators for nuclear imaging. (Jointly with Creatv MicroTech Inc.)
  • Materials resistant to metal dusting degradation, which will be used to make more durable equipment in plants that manufacture hydrogen.
  • Multiport dryer technology for the forest industry, which will improve the efficiency of dryers used in paper mills.
  • A bioreactor for the production and recovery of biobased products, which will enable biobased chemical products to be used in place of petrochemicals. (Jointly with Archer Daniels Midland Co.)

Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, N.Y.)

  • A device, the first able to focus a large spread of high-energy x-rays, that can be used in about 100 beamline facilities around the world to conduct scientific research in physics, biology and nanotechnology.

Idaho National Laboratory (Idaho Falls, Idaho)

  • A long-lasting, high-capacity, nano-composite polymer particle engineered to remove arsenic concentrations from water, rendering it safe to drink.
  • A new process to make liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly from pipeline gas without pre-treatment for CO2 removal, at prices competitive with large-scale LNG plants.
  • INL Robot Intelligence Kernel, a low-cost, on-board control architecture that gives robots exceptional new levels of autonomy and intelligence.
  • Xtreme Xylanase, a highly acidic and thermostable enzyme that breaks down cellulose and hemicellulose from biomass into simple sugars used to produce fuels and chemicals.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, Calif.)

  • The Carbon Explorer, a free-drifting instrument that submerges to measure carbon in the upper layers of the ocean and returns to the surface to report by satellite. (Jointly with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and WET Labs.)
  • A high-efficiency, multiband semiconductor material for solar cells that may enable converting virtually the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical current.
  • The Laser Ultrasonic Sensor, a sensor and control system to ensure optimum paper quality and efficient use of trees, chemicals and energy. (Jointly with the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology.)
  • A compact cylindrical neutron generator capable of emitting quadrillions of neutrons per second, enough to compete with large accelerator facilities.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.)

  • The Easy Livermore Inspection Test (ELITE), an inexpensive, portable explosives detector highly sensitive to more than 30 different explosives.
  • UltraSpec, a high-precision radiation detector with a unique ability to detect either gamma rays or neutrons, could assist security officials in identifying even small amounts of illicit nuclear materials. (Jointly with VeriCold Technologies.)
  • The first integrated, broad-area, high-resolution, real-time motion imagery system for surveillance applications. The system can provide real-time data for monitoring traffic, special events, border security and harbors.
  • The Wavelength Converter for High-Average Power Lasers uses a new, heat-tolerant, nonlinear crystal that can change the “color” of laser light, allowing design of compact, more efficient and lower cost laser systems.
  • A technique to precisely measure the Doppler velocities of stars, with a threefold improvement in resolution at a fraction of the cost of a conventional spectrograph.
  • Sapphire, a new technology that can analyze algorithms allowing the exploration of large, complex and multidimensional data sets. Sapphire is being applied to a variety of disciplines including remote sensory imagery, climate simulations and astronomy.
  • Babel, a new tool that assists computer scientists that face language incompatibilities among the software libraries they use. Babel enables cross language communication and allows scientists to cheaply integrate any library into their scientific application.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, N.M.)

  • Green Primaries, novel, nontoxic, explosives designed to replace lead-based primary explosives. In addition to being more environmentally benign, Green Primaries are safer to manufacture. Applications include: civilian ammunition; military ammunition and explosive devices; mining, excavation, and demolition detonators; and pyrotechnics.
  • PixelVizion, the first network processor unit-based computer visualization tool, provides high-speed graphics composition for large scale (terabytes to petabytes) data processing up to 20 times faster than that of current technologies. The tool has applications in orthopedics, rehabilitation, virtual medical training, specialized diagnostic imaging and predicting weather.
  • MICHELLE, a 3-D simulation software that can model high-power microwave tubes and has already led to longer-lasting microwave tubes for defense-radar systems, more cost-effective tubes for satellite-communication systems, and higher power tubes for particle-accelerator and deep-space communication systems.
  • ENABLE: Energetic Neutral Atom Beam Lithography/Epitaxy, a specialized tool for both etching and growing thin film materials at the nanoscale with greater versatility than current nanofabrication processes. Applications include solid-state lighting, multicolor flat-panel display technologies, photovoltaic devices, nanowires and supercapacitors.
  • Trident, a high-level computer language compiler that translates into field programmable-gate-array hardware scientific algorithms in the C computer programming language, allowing computational scientists to access reconfigurable logic hardware that can accelerate applications.

National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, WV)

  • The Explorer, a long-range, tetherless, self-powered robotic system for the live, visual inspection of natural gas and other pipelines. (Jointly with the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, Polytechnic University, NYSEARCH/Northeast Gas Association, the Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil, the Jet Propulsion Lab and ULC Robotics Inc.)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)

  • The Hybrid Solar Lighting System uses a solar collector and fiber optics to transfer sunlight to hybrid fixtures containing electric lamps. The system offers a dramatic improvement over conventional approaches to bringing sunlight into buildings and reduces energy usage for both lighting and cooling. (Jointly with Sunlight Direct.)
  • LandScan, a high-resolution population distribution model for the world. Providing 25 times higher resolution than other global population databases, the flexible model can be useful for coordinating disaster response, humanitarian relief, sustainable development and environment protection.
  • The Metal Infusion Surface Treatment that can infuse up to 51 elements into the surface of metals and alloys, and secure them with a nanostructure coating to produce metalworking tools and catalytic devices with lifetimes 10 times longer than conventional coatings. (Jointly with C3 International.)
  • NanoFermentation, a fundamentally new approach for producing economic quantities of uniform, tailored powders useful for magnetic media, xerographic toner, catalysts, water treatment and coatings. The process uses completely natural bacterial strains and works at or near room temperature using conventional industrial equipment.
  • Two heat-resistant cast stainless steels with improved durability and lifespans at higher maximum operating temperatures. The new alloys will provide energy and cost savings in the heat-treatment, steel, chemical and petroleum industries. (Jointly with Duraloy Technologies and Nucor Sheet Mill Group.)
  • Trane CDQ, an air conditioning-dehumidification device that controls buildings’ temperature and humidity more efficiently without adding heat to the system as is typical with other dehumidifying units. (Jointly with the Trane Company.)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.)

  • Cesium-131 Brachytherapy Seed, one of the most significant advancements in brachytherapy for cancer treatment in nearly 20 years. In treating prostate and other cancers, it delivers a highly targeted therapeutic dose of radiation to the tumor quickly and with potentially fewer side effects. (Jointly with IsoRay Medical Inc.)
  • e-RESS, a technology that improves the process for using nanoparticles in coating medical devices - such as cardiovascular stents - allowing for more consistent delivery of pharmaceutical agents and potentially reducing the need for replacement surgeries. (Jointly with Micell Technologies.)
  • The MilliWave Thermal Analyzer measures the temperature, amount of energy emitted, and physical change of materials, processes and systems. This technology can function at very high temperatures because contact is not required between the instrumentation and the materials; therefore, measurements can be made in real-time without sampling of the materials. (Jointly with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Savannah River National Laboratory.)
  • A “surface-induced mineralization” technique that allows coatings enhanced with therapeutic agents to be deposited on orthopedic implants and medical devices, enhancing bone-bonding and reducing or eliminating the growth of bacteria and thereby reducing the rate of post-surgical infection.
  • A new technique for titanium metal injection molding that can produce high-quality titanium parts for biomedical, aviation and automotive industries at lower cost, higher production rates and better quality than existing processes.

Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif.)

  • Compute Process Allocator, a computer algorithm technology that increases processing efficiency on massively parallel supercomputers. (Jointly with Stony Brook University and the University of Illinois, Urbana.)
  • A solid-state, fluoride-based battery that is safer than traditional batteries in high-temperature applications such as oil, gas and geothermal drilling. (Jointly with the High Power Battery Systems Co. and General Atomics.)

Savannah River National Laboratory (Aiken, S.C.) See the third entry under Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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